Blues announce signing of Taranaki hooker Ricky Riccitelli

Ricky Riccitelli has played 71 times for Hurricanes
Ricky Riccitelli has played 71 times for Hurricanes
©PA

Blues have confirmed the signing of Ricky Riccitelli from Hurricanes ahead of the 2022 season.

Having started his career with Hawke's Bay in 2015, the 26-year-old made a switch to Mitre 10 Cup side Taranaki in 2016 with his Super Rugby debut for Hurricanes also coming in the same year.

Riccitelli became a regular starter for the Hurricanes in the 2017 Super Rugby season and was eventually called up as injury cover for the All Blacks' 2017 Rugby Championship but is yet to feature in an international game. He will move to Blues following the end of his commitment with Taranaki in the Bunnings National Provincial Championship.

“I am excited and looking forward to making the move and challenging myself,” said Riccitelli to the club's official website.

“I am looking for forward to the opportunity to earn some game-time as there are goals that I still want to achieve in New Zealand. I’ll be putting my best foot forward to achieve these and do my best for the club.

“The facilities at the Blues are impressive, and I am well aligned with Leon (MacDonald) and Tom Coventry and really excited about the challenges ahead.”

Blues coach Leon MacDonald believes Riccitelli's experience will help the young talents in the club.

“We were looking for a quality hooker with experience to bolster our ranks alongside Kurt Eklund and to help the development of Soane Vikena,” said MacDonald.

“The Blues need depth in what is a critical position. Ricky can do his core job of throwing to lineout and scrummaging well but is also powerful ball-in-hand and in defence.

“Most of all he is a quality individual who will definitely fit into the Blue Pride ethos we are developing here at our club.”

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