28 Jun 2017

Black donning blue, West heading south

9:23 am on 28 June 2017

Hurricanes first five Otere Black is heading north to the Blues for next year's super rugby season while the man he's replacing, Ihaia West, will take Black's place in Wellington.

Otere Black kicks for goal

Otere Black kicks for goal Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Black has signed a two year deal with the Blues, who lose West and English first five Piers Francis, at the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

The 22-year-old Black has spent the past two seasons as All Blacks first five, Beauden Barrett's understudy and has played for the New Zealand Maori side as well as the New Zealand Under-20's.

West meanwhile will take Black's place at the Hurricanes after struggling to convince Blues coach Tana Umaga that he was the first choice number 10 for the Auckland franchise.

Also joining the Blues first five ranks is Bryn Gatland - the 22-year-old North Harbour number 10 has signed a one year deal.

Gatland has already played four games for the Blues this season.

Ihaia West on his way to the try line.

Ihaia West on his way to the try line. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Blues coch Tana Umaga said it was great to add two more young first fives alongside young prospect Stephen Perofeta is exciting for the club.

"Otere is a young player of considerable talent. I had the pleasure of coaching him with the New Zealand Under-20s at the World Cup where he played a big part in that win," Umaga said.

"He is an accomplished first-five and will be a valuable addition to our young group of first-fives.

"Bryn impressed us when he came into the Blues this year with his ability and a level of maturity beyond his years. He showed with his performance against the Lions that he can rise to the big occasion."