Mealamu to Captain Blues in Super 14



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All Black Hooker Keven Mealamu will captain the Blues for the 2006 Super 14. His vice captian will be All Black winger. Xavier Rush captained the Blues last year but after the Super 12 he left New Zealand and joined Cardiff.

Mealamu was criticized last year, along with now retired All Black captain Tana Umaga, for an illegal spear tackle. Footage of the incident was not available in time for a disciplinary so the matter was dropped.

Tokoroan born Mealamu made his debut for the Blues in 2000 but in 2002 Mealamu was released by the Blues and was drafted by the Chiefs where he made such an impression that he was called up for the All Blacks where he made his international debut against Wales.

This also led him to be selectd once again by the Blues in 2003 where he appeared in the ’03 Super 12 final against the Crusaders where the Blues won 21-17. In 1997 he was converted from Flanker to Hooker by the Auckand under19’s.

“Keven and Doug have strong and positive presences both on and off the field, which is particularly important given the relative youth of our team. I believe they’ll do an outstanding job, working in tandem,” said Blues coach David Nucifora.

The Blues lost 29-14 to the Reds in a Super 14 pre-season warm up at Ballymore this past weekend and they are now at a training camp on the Sunshine Coast.

This weekend they play the Waratahs in Gosford. Their final Super 14 warm up match is against the Western Force at Eden Park on February 2.

The Blues kick off their Super 14 at home against the Hurricanes at Eden Park on February 10.

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