7 May 2015

Luatua to lead Blues

12:37 pm on 7 May 2015

The All Black loose forward Steven Luatua will captain the Blues for the rest of the Super Rugby season after regular skipper Jerome Kaino was ruled out with injury.

The Blues stand-in captain Steven Luatua with team-mates.

The Blues stand-in captain Steven Luatua with team-mates. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Luatua was selected with an eye to the future and with the full endorsement of Kaino and 170-Super Rugby game veteran Keven Mealamu.

"I was a bit in shock and left for words. I am really humbled and at the same time gutted about the injury to Jerome," Luatua said.

"Growing up as a kid in the region, this is something you aspire to. We still have Kevie but he believes this is the best direction to head in so I will give it my best shot."

Coach Sir John Kirwan said while the side will miss Kaino both as a player and a leader, it was an excellent opportunity to promote Luatua.

"We recognise Steven as a future leader in the club. The experience will help Steven grow as a leader and player and it will be a great support for Jerome in the coming years," Kirwan said.

The 13th-placed Blues have lost two All Blacks in Kaino and Charles Piutau to injury for the rest of the season.

The Blues finish with four games at Eden Park following Friday's match against the Rebels in Melbourne.

The 22-year-old North Harbour utility back Matt McGahan will join for the rest of the season, after playing for the Blues Development side.

Waitemata club No.8 Airi Hunt will provide cover to be reviewed after the match against the Bulls while Northland's Tongan international loose forward Jack Ram who joins as cover for Friday's game against the Rebels.

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