Super Rugby Aupiki: Sisters Linda, Aldora Itunu bring love, laughter to Blues championship hopes

The Blues women have never won a Super Rugby Aupiki crown yet, but this year, they have a secret weapon - two sisters who know each other inside and out. 

Linda and Aldora Itunu say they love playing with each other, but it doesn't come without challenges. 

The siblings bring laughter wherever they go and that includes the Blues. 

"Of course there's a bit of banter, there has to be," assured Aldora. 

Linda and Aldora Itunu at Blues training.
Linda and Aldora Itunu at Blues training. Photo credit: Newshub

The duo are both part of Auckland-based Aupiki side this year, with older sister Linda as forwards coach and Aldora as prop, but that doesn't lead to any special treatment. 

"If i needed to work on something, she will be, like, 'Come do this', so i believe she's pretty fair," said Aldora. 

"I told her to say that while we were coming over here," giggled Linda. "That's what that chat was."

The two have worked closely before, as part of the 2017 World Cup-winning Black Ferns squad. 

For Linda, 39, who's won three world titles in the black jersey, staying on the sideline is sometimes difficult.

"To be honest, there are some moments where I'm, 'Hey, just give me the boots and I'll jump on', but I think, when i hung up the boots in 2018, that was time for me and I wanted to contribute to the game in a different space," she reflected. 

The Blues will face competition frontrunners Chiefs Manawa this weekend and, thankfully, Aldora's been given the nod to play. 

"Just having that balance of should I name her or shouldn't I," teased Linda. 

Things can get tricky at selection time, but both sisters know the team comes first.

"Our sister time we can have when we see each other, but in this environment, it's about being professional, and her being an athlete and me being the coach," said Linda. 

Aldora Itunu in action for the Blues.
Aldora Itunu in action for the Blues. Photo credit: Photosport

The side are yet to win a title, and Aldora admits the team has fallen short the past two seasons and are extra hungry this year. 

"You can even tell in trainings, in our reviews and even by doing some work, they are willing to get better," she said.

Hopefully, that attitude will see lead to their name being on the trophy.

No matter what happens this season, they'll still have put up with each other, both on the field and off.