All Blacks number eight to leave Auckland

All Blacks and Blues number eight Hoskins Sotutu is leaving Auckland signing with Counties Manukau for this year's NPC.

The 22-year-old made his All Blacks debut last year when he came off the bench against Australia in the first Bledisloe Cup test.

He played 15 games for Auckland in the last three NPC seasons after making his provincial debut in 2019 against his new side Counties Manakau.

Sotutu, whose father Waisake played for Counties Manukau while still at high school, links up with Blues teammates, Dalton Papali'i and Nepo Laulala at the Steelers.

"Dad (former All Black Waisake Sotutu) got his start in rugby in the region and has played for the Steelers. I also live in South Auckland and have a number of connections to Counties Manukau," he said.

"Hoskins is first and foremost a top young man making his mark at the highest level and he's also passionate about helping grow the community game in Counties Manukau," said Steelers head coach Tai Lavea.