Tuipulotu blow for Blues, All Blacks

    2018-05-15 13:18

    Cape Town - Blues and All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu is likely to be ruled out of the three-Test tour to France in June with a shoulder injury.

    Tuipulotu suffered the injury in the 36-15 defeat to the Hurricanes last weekend and will miss the Blues’ two matches before the international break as well as all three Tests against les Bleus.

    It is a cruel blow for the 25-year-old, who was beginning to hit the sort of form that saw him rewarded with four All Blacks caps last year.

    “He’s had an unlucky streak of injuries,” wing Rieko Ioane told the New Zealand Herald.

    “They’re the niggly ones which sit him out for a month and then he plays for a couple of weeks and then he gets another one, so it’s been tough on him.

    “The form that he’s been in - we’re going to miss that. He’s been a powerhouse for us all year.

    “He’s been into our new boys about the expectations that are needed - they’ll have big shoes to fill but I’m sure they’ll do the job.”

    Loose forward Jerome Kaino said: “He calls our lineouts and has a lot of input into our forwards and team stuff. I’ve definitely seen the growth in him and he’ll definitely be missed on the field.”

    The Blues next face defending champions the Crusaders, having not beaten New Zealand opposition in 16 matches.

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