Exodus 2017



  • Luatua did fight his way back to make the End of Year tour. I guess things might pivot on if he makes the Lions squad.



  • With Kaino's career winding down, I was hoping Luatua would be around for a bit after he's gone.

    If Luata is off, I think we'll be able to cover him in the long run, but it'd still suck to lose him.

    I think some of the young guys out of school like Sione Havili and Hoskin Sotutu have been training with the Blues. I'm backing Sione Havili to be the future 6 for the Blues in 2 years.



  • And it's sayonara Luatua. Lam strikes the Blues again.



  • @Billy-Tell

    They must be paying him plenty, as he'll likely be playing against part timers in the second tier next season.



  • This is the media release from Bristol: http://www.bristolrugby.co.uk/news/bristol-confirm-signing-of-steven-luatua/

    Already giving up on the black jersey at 25 and with only 15 caps ... I rate guys, who stick around and do everything they can to get back or stay in black, much higher than players who go for the money at that age. Hope he doesn't have the illusion of coming back and have another shot at the jersey. He can forget it; he's not Kaino.

    Note the text between brackets in this tweet of a local paper:



  • I'm not that fussed. The Blues' fans on the forum wax lyrical about his qualities. Never showed himself remotely decent AB material when given the chance IMHO. I was at the game in Dublin in 2013 when we nearly lost, he was anonymous.

    Edit: And when Ratpoo writes an article about what a massive loss it is to the Blues, well...



  • I thought Luatua had a very good Super season last year and deserved his AB recall. He looked like a viable backup to Read.

    I'm still not convinced about Squire (as a starter especially) and Dixon went backwards last year, so having depth in the loose forwards was a positive.



  • He is a very good Super player, and will be a big loss to the Blues and Auckland Rugby, seemed like he was going to be find his feet at International rugby after fighting back form being dropped.

    Never like these players leaving, sure they open a spot for a youngster to come through, but is better that youngster sits on the bench and learns from him and fights for his gametime.



  • Not a big loss in the overall scheme of things but a shame he's not sticking around to fight it out. We won't ever know now how good Luatua could have been. With Kaino probably not playing much longer after the Lions tour due to two dodgy shoulders, it's the time for someone else to step up, which is quite exciting. Squire, Dixon, Taufua , Shields and Fifita are all in the frame or maybe someone new will emerge from this super season. Although he's more of an 8,Akira Ian could be looked at also. Will be watching with keen interest how this tussle plays out



  • That sucks - he had a cracking Super Rugby campaign last year and really deserved his AB recall. Bigger loss for Blues but only 25.



  • @Bovidae said in Exodus 2017:

    I thought Luatua had a very good Super season last year and deserved his AB recall. He looked like a viable backup to Read.

    I'm still not convinced about Squire (as a starter especially) and Dixon went backwards last year, so having depth in the loose forwards was a positive.

    I agree. Although I don't think Dixon went backwards. He just stayed where he was.

    Personally think he is a big loss and I expected him to be the next in line behind Kaino.

    So stand up Akira. Park your anger issues and start to play.



  • I'm thinking that it's now "Brad Shields" time



  • @JayCee said in Exodus 2017:

    I'm thinking that it's now "Brad Shields" time

    Only if you apply glue to his hands before each match.



  • I thought Luatua had turned a corner last year where he and Ioane tore in to the Bulls pack on a two man wrecking mission, i was mightily impressed with his physicality, and figured that was him pressing his claim as the 2nd #8.

    Sadly, we will now never know.

    For all that say this isn't a loss, it really really is, because i thought we had issues in our loose forwards last year, and we are now left with a couple of guys I'm far from sold on, and the Kaino/Read axis that is another year older (and yes Nepai, battled through last year). Someone needs to step up this year.



  • @Billy-Tell said in Exodus 2017:

    I'm not that fussed. The Blues' fans on the forum wax lyrical about his qualities. Never showed himself remotely decent AB material when given the chance IMHO. I was at the game in Dublin in 2013 when we nearly lost, he was anonymous.

    That was a long time ago. Kaino didn't set the world on fire when he first put on the Black jersey.



  • @Billy-Tell gee look at all the closet blues fans coming out of the woodwork...



  • Compared to the class, say, Ireland have in the loose now, losing Luatua is a big blow.

    I think Heaslip, O'Brien, Stander and VDF would all make an extended All Blacks squad right now ahead of Squire, Dixon, Ioane, Fifita, Taufua. Maybe even Ardie.



  • Fringe player , a fairly good one at that , that is still young ,

    I see that as a loss , his best rugby could well be in front of him if we go off the Kaino example



  • @TeWaio said in Exodus 2017:

    Compared to the class, say, Ireland have in the loose now, losing Luatua is a big blow.

    I think Heaslip, O'Brien, Stander and VDF would all make an extended All Blacks squad right now ahead of Squire, Dixon, Ioane, Fifita, Taufua. Maybe even Ardie.

    We have great depth in the loose forwards but the quality at test level is a little unproven.
    I think a player like VDF would thrive in the ABs but then given a chance so could the others you mention. don't count out Shields either. He never got the chance for an 'apprenticeship tour' due to poorly timed injuries and is doing his maturing at Super Level only. He looks to me like a test type player. Probably needs to ramp up domination in contact just a little.



  • One of the articles I read about Luatua equated him to Vito and I think that is fair. Vito hung around for a long time but a versatile forward, like a utility back, gets branded as 'jack of all trades, master of none' which keeps you on the fringe.
    Luatua's reasons of wanting to set his family up and give his kids a better life is a good one. As he says, he himself could remain comfortable in NZ but the 'upgrade' for the family pales compared to tucking away some big money in Europe.


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