2013 Blues Wider Training Group announced

07 Dec 2012

Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan has named an exciting crop of up-and-comers in his Wider Training Group for 2013.

Pita Ahki, Lolagi Visinia, Joe Edwards, Albert Nikoro and Sean Polwart have all been selected and will join the Blues full-time when pre-season training commences on Monday.

“We were initially concerned because last season there were 40 players used through injury, but at the end of the day I believe we’ve taken the courageous route and we’ve picked some real excitement machines with huge upside and no experience,” Kirwan said.

“The nice thing about all these guys is they’re good enough to be great and that’s their challenge. I think the catch cry for this group is turning their potential into a reality.”

At just 22-years-old, Auckland flanker Sean Polwart is the elder statesman of the group, having made five appearances for the Blues.

All the other players have only one season of provincial rugby under their belts, with Visinia having also played for New Zealand Sevens and Ahki representing New Zealand at this year’s Junior World Championship.

“The most important thing I said to them was ‘boys this is your football team, we need you to show respect for your elders but when you cross the white line I’m expecting you to step up and play Super Rugby’ so it’s a big ask but they’re all incredibly excited about it,” Kirwan said.

Coach’s notes:


Pita Ahki (North Harbour) Midfield Back

Pita has special feet, he can really light things up and is still learning the game with North Harbour. I think he’s going to be special.

Lolagi Visinia (Auckland) Wing / Fullback

He’s a big, strong Samoan boy who has a cheeky smile and is really excited about the opportunity. He’s another talented guy who has come through our system.

Joe Edwards (Auckland) Number 8

Joe is a special young man, he’s 19 going on 25 and we think he’s got captaincy material about him.

Albert Nikoro (Auckland) Utility back

Albert is fast, has a good step, attacks the defensive line hard and kicks the rugby ball a long way. 

Sean Polwart (Auckland) Flanker

I think he’s a bit of a late developer. I thought he was a little bit one dimensional earlier in the season but through game time changed his game and started dominating in other areas. He carried the ball really well and was strong over the ball which was his strength to start with and is starting to use his legs in the tackle so he’s just one of those later developers in a position that is very difficult. I think he’s the type of guy that will keep getting better and better.
ROUND 1

18

Blues v
Chiefs

Sat 14 Feb 2015
7:35pm

23

27

Stormers v
Blues

Sun 22 Feb 2015
4:05am

16

25

Cheetahs v
Blues

Sat 28 Feb 2015
6:10am

24

10

Blues v
Lions

Sat 7 Mar 2015
7:35pm

13

30

Hurricanes v
Blues

Fri 13 Mar 2015
7:35pm

23

23

Waratahs v
Blues

Sat 28 Mar 2015
9:40pm

11

23

Chiefs v
Blues

Sat 4 Apr 2015
7:35pm

16

16

Blues v
Brumbies

Fri 10 Apr 2015
7:35pm

14

Highlanders v
Blues

Sat 18 Apr 2015
7:35pm

Crusaders v
Blues

Sat 25 Apr 2015
7:35pm

Blues v
Force

Sat 2 May 2015
5:30pm

Rebels v
Blues

Fri 8 May 2015
9:40pm

Blues v
Bulls

Fri 15 May 2015
7:35pm

Blues v
Hurricanes

Sat 23 May 2015
7:35pm

Blues v
Crusaders

Sat 6 Jun 2015
7:35pm

Blues v
Highlanders

Fri 12 Jun 2015
7:35pm

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