Tuipulotu, who two weeks ago was named the Blues’ captain for the upcoming Super Rugby Pacific season, leads a talented side mixed with experience and some newer players as well.
Assistant coach Paul Tito said the Blues are looking forward to playing a match following a pre-season training block over the past couple of months.
“We’re under no illusions how tough it will be,” Tito said in a statement. “We’re going over to test ourselves against a quality outfit and for us, it’s a first chance to get some game situations and start to develop as a team.
“We’re in a privileged position to be heading to Japan – a lot of the boys haven’t been there before.
“As well as the rugby we’ll get in extra meetings and like with any tour, it’ll bring us closer together, it’s all about the little connections.”
Sungoliath is second in Conference A in Japan Rugby League One. As flyhalf Perofeta discussed, the Tokyo-based club will pose a tough task on Saturday afternoon.
“The Sungoliath will be battle-hardened having already started their season, so it’s a good chance to see where we’re at – it will be a good test of our fitness and physicality,” Perofeta said.
“As players, we’ve been allowed to drive the team forward, as leaders we’re three to take control of the team and bring the best out of those around us while also expressing ourselves.”
Blues team to take on Tokyo Sungoliath
- Joshua Fusitu’a
- Kurt Eklund
- Angus Ta’avao
- Patrick Tuipulotu
- Sam Darry
- Adrian Choat
- Anton Segner
- Hoskins Sotutu
- Sam Nock
- Stephen Perofeta
- Kade Banks
- Leo Gordon
- Corey Evans
- Caleb Tangitau
- Cole Forbes
Full Blues pre-season
Blues vs Tokyo Sungoliath at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium on February 3 at 4 pm
Blues vs Yokohama Eagles at Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium on February 10 at 4:10 pm
Blues vs Chiefs at Takapuna Rugby Club on February 16 at 4 pm