West makes Hurricanes switch
Cape Town - Flyhalf Ihaia West has signed a one-year deal with the
Hurricanes which sees Otere Black go in the opposite direction to the Blues.
The 25-year-old will join club for the 2018 season in what
will be a home coming of sorts for the former Napier Boys High School star.
West was a Hurricanes Development player in 2014 and has
been a regular match winner for the Hawke's Bay Magpies over recent seasons
with his sharp running game and reliable goal kicking.
After four seasons and 43 appearances with the Blues he
brings considerable Investec Super Rugby experience to the Hurricanes where he
will be coached by his former New Zealand Under 20s coach Chris Boyd.
"I have decided it's time for a new challenge and
thanks to the Hurricanes management I have the opportunity to be involved with
a strong and successful team," West said.
"I am looking forward to joining the Hurricanes
environment and playing for a team that is close to me being from Hawkes Bay.
I'm excited to see what next season holds.
"I've enjoyed my time with the Blues and want to thank
the boys and the coaches for the experiences and making my time there
Hurricanes head coach Boyd said he was looking forward to
working with West again.
"Ihaia has always been a very talented player. I
enjoyed coaching him in the New Zealand Under 20s back in 2012 and since then
he's built up a lot of experience with Hawke's Bay, the Blues and also the
Maori All Blacks.
"We all saw what he is capable with ball in hand when
he scored the match winning try for the Blues against The British & Irish
Lions recently and we're looking forward to similar highlights in a Hurricanes
West's signing comes as another Hurricanes first five Otere
Black leaves the club.
"Otere has been a real professional on and off the
field and everyone at the Hurricanes wishes him all the best with the next
chapter of his career," Boyd said.
Black, who has represented the Hurricanes 19 times since
2015, has signed with the Blues through until 2019.
"It was a hard decision for me to decide to leave the
Hurricanes," Black said. "The team has been a big part of my life and
has shaped me to be who I am today as a player.
I owe the coaching group, the players and the staff a great deal."