All Blacks lock Tuipulotu flown home to NZ and facing weeks on sideline

Blues Captain Patrick Tuipulotu is set to return to New Zealand for surgery after suffering a fracture to his jaw in a pre-season match putting him on the sidelines for eight to ten weeks.

The injury occurred late in the first half during the Blues’ clash with Tokyo Sungoliath at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium.

This setback so early in the season is a significant blow to both the player and Auckland based side.

Head Coach Vern Cotter expressed his sympathy for Tuipulotu acknowledging the challenge this presents. “This is a tough blow for Patrick especially early on in the season” Cotter remarked. ““We accept injuries are part of our game and we’re wishing Paddy a speedy recovery knowing he’ll still offer plenty to the group from a leadership perspective over the next few weeks.

“This is a resilient group and we’ve got a strong stock of locks to call on while he recovers.”

The Blues are currently assessing their options for a temporary captain with a decision expected soon. Meanwhile they are preparing for their next pre-season fixture against the Yokohama Canon Eagles at Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium on Saturday February 10 at 4:10pm part of the Cross-Border Rugby competition.


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