Bay of Plenty Steamers sign Blues first five

Whanau has played a major part in Otere Black signing with the Bay Steamers for this year’s Mitre 10 Cup.

The 25-year-old is having a steller Super Rugby Aotearoa season with the Blues and despite the fact he is competing with a current and a former All Blacks first-five; Beauden Barrett and Daniel Carter, Black’s form has justifiably kept him in the starting 15.

Black says becoming a first-time dad and getting to be near his whanau was a major reason for signing with the Bay.

“We have a home here in Rotorua now and making sure my family could come and watch me play was a big factor. My mum and dad have been huge supporters for us growing up and they always try to come and watch us play. It’s also a good opportunity to give back to my family and my people here in the Eastern Bay.”

Growing up in the Eastern Bay of Plenty town of Ruatoki, meant Black had an active upbringing.

“It’s a bit different to nowadays with technology with iPads and movies and things like that. We never really had that back in the day. So, we would always head out and find things to do. Like eeling, fishing and all that sort of stuff. We were just real outdoor kids.

The 25-year-old’s passion for rugby was born on the backyard playing fields of Ruatoki.

“Especially at the marae, there was always a rugby ball around and we would always play rugby or touch. They all get into the sports and everyone gets behind the local team. They really enjoy their sport there.”

Playing professional rugby was a dream for Black.