All Black lock Patrick Tuipulotu has been confirmed as the Blues Super rugby captain for the 2020 Super rugby season.
Tuipulotu was the co-captain in 2019 and assumes sole captaincy of the team for this year.
The 26-year-old has played 67 times for the Blues since making his debut and while he has also earned 25 caps for the All Blacks.
Head coach Leon MacDonald said that Tuipulotu was their first choice as leader of the team.
“It is a role he co-shared with Blake Gibson last season but Blake is keen to prioritise his on-field endeavours this year, after he has battled through injuries in recent seasons,” said MacDonald.
“Patrick is a standout international player and a critical part of our pack on the field.
“Off the field he is massively respected. He may be quiet-spoken, but when Patrick speaks, everyone listens.”
Tuipulotu said he was humbled and honoured to accept the role as captain.
“It is a privilege to be leader of this club and this team and a role I do not take lightly,” said Tuipulotu.
“I am driven to lead a group of guys who are hard-working and very proud to live in this great city and represent the Blues.
“While I have the honour of captaining this team, there are a number of experienced players who are leaders in this club. And we are all focused on being the best we can be and at the same time continue to love this game.”
Tuipulotu will be on the sideline for the final pre-season game against the Hurricanes at Onewa Domain on Friday at 3pm but will be available to play in the opening round of the Super Rugby when the Blues host perennial rivals, the Chiefs at Eden Park on Friday 31 January at the earlier time of 7.05pm.