Hoskin Sotutu

Hoskins Sotutu returns as one of three All Blacks tweaks to Blues forward pack

There are just three changes to the starting lineup, all in the forward pack.

Hoskins Sotutu, who debuted in the All Blacks last season, has been elevated back into the starting team at number 8 in place of fellow NZ representative Akira Ioane who drops to the bench.

Sotutu has missed just one game for the Blues this year and was also benched for last weekend’s clash with the Reds. Ioane, meanwhile, has featured in every single game for the Auckland franchise in 2021, either in the starting lineup or from the reserves.

Second Sotutu earns national honours in 10 days as Teuila Sotutu named in Netball World Youth Cup team

 Teuila Sotutu was, on Wednesday, named in the New Zealand under-21 squad ahead of next year’s Netball World Youth Cup.

 That announcement came just 10 days after her brother Hoskins Sotutu was named as an All Black for the first time.

 Sporting success is nothing new to the Sotutu family with Teuila and Hoskins’ father Waisake Sotutu being a former Blues and Fiji wing.Sporting success is nothing new to the Sotutu family with Teuila and Hoskins’ father Waisake Sotutu being a former Blues and Fiji wing.

Seven new caps in All Blacks squad

Head coach Ian Foster and his fellow selectors named a 35-strong group on Sunday morning.

Five of the news faces were in the forwards, including Blues No 8 Hoskins Sotutu and prop Alex Hodgman, rising Chiefs lock Tupou Vaa'i and lock Quinten Strange and loose forward Cullen Grace from the Crusaders.

Outside backs Caleb Clarke of the Blues and Will Jordan of the Crusaders were the uncapped backs.

The squad also featured the return of Blues flanker Akira Ioane, Hurricanes hooker Asafo Aumua, Blues prop Karl Tu'inukuafe and Hurricanes prop Tyrel Lomax.

All Black jersey awaits Hoskins Sotutu

The 21-year-old No 8 has been a standout performer in Super Rugby this year, his rapid rise thrusting him into conversations

concerning the selection of the next New Zealand squad.

Sotutu is not only eligible for the All Blacks but also Fiji through his dad, former Blues and Auckland utility Waisake, and England through his mother.

Eddie Jones intent on brazenly luring Hoskins Sotutu to England

Sotutu – who also qualifies for Fiji through his father, former Fiji and Blues player Waisake Sotutu – has been groomed as a future All Blacks star after a series of dominant performances in the Blues’ unbeaten start to the season.

New Fiji coach Vern Cotter is reportedly hopeful of luring Sotutu but now England have come knocking as well, according to The Telegraph.

Jones is no stranger to recruiting players from Kiwi Super Rugby, having selected Piers Francis while he was at the Blues in 2017 and former Hurricane Brad Shields.