The Roar
The Roar


Rugby News: Brumbies boost as Blues star ruled out, Akira's Eden Park farewell - 'it's going to suck'

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
10th June, 2024
3287 Reads

Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu has been ruled out of the Super Rugby semifinal against the Brumbies and will potentially miss the July Tests against England.

The All Blacks lock suffered a knee injury early in the Blues’ win over Fijian Drua in the quarters last weekend.

The Brumbies have had tight five issues of their own with third choice loosehead Harry Vella copping extreme punishment in the win over the Highlanders that set up the semifinal.

Wallaby prop James Slipper said he expects to be fit enough to return from a calf strain to take his place at Eden Park.

Patrick Tuipulotu of the Blues spits during the round 15 Super Rugby Pacific match between Blues and Chiefs at Eden Park, on June 01, 2024, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

 (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The Blues confirmed Tuipulotu will be out of action for between six and seven weeks after damaging the medial ligament in his right knee during the 36-5 victory.

Akira heading to Japan

All Black Akira Ioane will head to Japan after the Blues’ final Super Rugby game this season, ending his international career with New Zealand.


Ioane, 28, has been with the Blues for 10 years and the match against the Brumbies will be his last at Eden Park for the club, win or lose.

“It means a lot, obviously I’m a born and bred Auckland boy and I never really thought about going anywhere else. This is home, it will always be home,” Ioane said.

“But, at the end of the day I’ve had to make a hard decision and I’ve decided to leave the Blues at the end of this year.

Akira Ioane of the Blues charges forward

Akira Ioane. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

“A tough decision, wasn’t easy. I just thought it was time. I’ve been here 10 years, since I was a young kid coming out of school. It’s something I never truly thought was possible, I’m truly grateful for the opportunity I’ve had.

“It’s going to suck leaving, but on to what I think is bigger and better things for me and where I want to be, when I want to finish rugby.

“It’s not just me and my partner I have to worry about, it’s about making sure I’ve got the means to look after my family.


“That was part of the decision to head to Japan and make the most of what I think is the back end of my career.

“I’m still young but I want to be a part of his (Ioane’s son’s) life and I want to make sure that he has everything that we didn’t have growing up.

“Them before me is my mindset now.”

Ioane played 22 times for the All Blacks. There is a chance that he could play for Japan or Samoa in the future after a period out of Test rugby.

“In the next weeks we will farewell a legend of the club. The epitome of a Blues man,” the club said in a video tribute.

“Hailing from up north and raised in central Auckland Aki bleeds nothing but Blue. He will potentially play his last game in front of you in a thrilling semi final against the Brumbies on Friday night. Join us in celebrating Akira’s 10 years of dedication to this region.”


Ford out of NZ tour

England have suffered a blow ahead of their summer tour to Japan and New Zealand with starting flyhalf George Ford was ruled out by injury.

Ford has succumbed to and on-going Achilles issue that affected the end of his club season with Sale Sharks.

“Naturally we’re disappointed that George won’t be with us in Japan and New Zealand,” head coach Steve Borthwick said.

“Following specialist medical advice, and in consultation with George himself, we have decided this is the best course of action.

“George is a big part of the England team and is an excellent professional who I know will rehab diligently to ensure he gets himself right as soon as he can.”


Ford’s injury and the absence of Owen Farrell – who plays in France – leaves Marcus Smith and Fin Smith competing for the starting No.10 shirt.

England will play their first-ever full Test match in Japan against a team coached by former coach Eddie Jones. They then play two Tests against the All Blacks next month.