Wellington - The Blues on Monday announced
former All Black Tanerau Latimer had signed for a season-long loan from his
Japanese club Toshiba Brave Lupus.
The Blues said Latimer, 29, would provide
valuable experience to a young Blues outfit that is rebuilding under new coach
"Tanerau always set high standards for
himself and his team-mates on and off the field, and his influence will be
massive for us," Umaga said.
The loose forward will replace rising star
Akira Ioane, who will miss the Super Rugby competition next year to play sevens
for New Zealand at the Rio Olympics.
"Every group needs some old heads
around. I see my biggest asset will be to offer some leadership and guidance
and to set standards during training and games," Latimer said.
He played five Tests for the All Blacks in
2009 and appeared in more than 100 Super Rugby matches for the Chiefs before
moving to Japan last year.
Latimer will move to New Zealand after the
Japanese season ends in early 2016 and stay for the duration of the Super
competition, which concludes in early August.