All Blacks Sevens playmaker and leading scrum-half Augustine Pulu will play for the Blues in next season's Super Rugby tournament.
The 26-year-old from Auckland is currently recovering from a broken arm as he pushes for a place in the New Zealand Sevens side for the Rio Olympics.
Pulu, who has played two Tests for the All Blacks and over 50 games for the Chiefs and Counties Manukau, has signed for two years with the Blues.
The former Wesley College student became a star performer for Tana Umaga’s Counties Manukau side, and was part of the team’s rise to the premier division, winning the Ranfurly Shield for the first time. Pulu played an important leadership role in the south Auckland representative side.
He made his debut for the Chiefs in 2012 and earned his two All Blacks caps in 2014, playing against the USA and Scotland on the team’s Northern Hemisphere tour that year.
In late 2015 he joined the All Black Sevens programme with the ambition of making the Olympic team. He was named Player of the Tournament at the National Sevens in Rotorua in January, and was developing as a key playmaker for the All Blacks Sevens until breaking his arm during the Sydney Sevens this year. He remains on track to return to sevens to be in contention for Olympic selection.
Blues coach Umaga said the signing of Pulu will be an important one for the 2017 campaign.
“Obviously I’ve had a lot to do with Augustine and I am impressed with his ability on the field and his demeanour off it, both as a player and a leader,” he told the Blues' official website.
“He will bring a different approach and style to the halfback game which will provide us with more options in how we play.”
Umaga said that Pulu had shown some interest in moving back to his home in Auckland where he wants to play a leading hand for the Blues and re-establish himself as an All Blacks contender.