Blues have confirmed the signing of New Zealand international Karl Tu'inukuafe from Super Rugby rivals Chiefs after signing a three-year deal.
His professional rugby debut came with provincial side North Harbour in 2015 and featured in Mitre10 cup in 2017 with his Super Rugby debut coming in the 2018 season.
“It is exciting for my family and me to be coming home. I think we have a strong squad for next year. I have my Harbour coach Tom Coventry coming in to take the forwards and I get to stay in the region,” said Tu’inukuafe.
“The set-up at the Blues looks great and I am going to enjoy being part of this club and hopefully I can do my part in helping the club do well.”
The 25-year-old was called-up to the All Blacks squad during the recently concluded June series against France where he played all the three Tests coming off the bench.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen is delighted with the news and said he was impressed by the performance of Tu'inukuafe during the series against France.
“It’s fantastic news for Big Karl and New Zealand Rugby. He really impressed us in his first campaign with the All Blacks in June.
"He’s a humble man and very low-key but he went about his work in a very professional manner.
"We all saw how destructive he can be as a scrummager but he’s also nailing his other core roles, he’s eager to learn and he made great strides in the black jersey. We look forward to working with Karl in the future.”