Cape Town - The
Blues have announced that versatile backs Stephen Perofeta and Michael
Collins have signed for the franchise for Super Rugby 2017.
Teenage flyhalf Stephen Perofeta, originally from Wanganui but
playing for Taranaki, and Otago utility Collins have both inked
Both players have represented New Zealand at age grade level, Schools
and/or New Zealand Under-20, and have impressed in 2016's Mitre 10 Cup.
Perofeta, 19, is a player for the future, and joins established pivots
Ihaia West and Piers Francis at the Blues. He was a finalist for
Heartland player of the year in 2015 after his debut for Wanganui as a
schoolboy, scoring more than 100 points before scoring 58 points in
three games for the NZ Heartland XV.
He moved to Taranaki and was selected for the NZ Under-20s for the World Rugby U20 Championship.
"He is a young player who is achieving beyond his years and we
believe is an outstanding prospect for the future," coach Tana Umaga
told the Blues website.
"We've been watching Stephen for some time and believe he has the
attributes we need and the maturity even at his age to make a real
contribution to the Blues.
"First five has been a priority position for the past two seasons and
we have been working closely with some exciting young first fives
coming through in the region, but they are not yet ready to blood at
Collins, 23, is formerly from Queenstown before moving to Dunedin
where he captained Otago Boys and was selected for the NZ Schools in
2011 and New Zealand Under-20s in 2013.
He moved to the Otago team and last year spent the off-season playing
for Llanelli in the Welsh competition as injury cover before returning
for the Mitre 10 Cup.
Collins is a utility who can play midfield or in the back three, and has made his mark this year at fullback.
"Michael is another to come through the national age group system. We
believe he has the speed and skills required to cover a number of
backline positions and will be a real asset to the Blues," said Umaga.