All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu has committed his immediate future with New Zealand Rugby and Auckland Blues after signing a new contract until the end of 2025 season.
Tuipulotu made his professional rugby debut with provincial side Auckland in 2013 with his Super Rugby debut for Blues coming a year later. Having captained Auckland in 2017, he was named the co-captain of Blues ahead of the 2019 season.
The 28-year-old will head to Japan at the end of his commitments with the All Blacks later in the year and will miss the 2022 Super Rugby season before returning back to New Zealand in the mid next year.
“In some ways winning the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman title has made my decision easier, because we have got that monkey off our backs at the Blues,” he told the Blues’ official website.
“It was a hard decision because the Blues as a group have developed so well.
“I am excited for the new experience overseas and will be doing my best. Equally, I will be looking forward to returning to the Blues and my home in Auckland.
“I have big goals that I want to achieve both for my country and the Blues in the future.
“I am honoured that New Zealand Rugby and the Blues have shown so much faith in me, and this provides security for my family over the next few years to the likely end of my career.”
Tuipulotu made his international debut for New Zealand in 2014 and has gone on to play 35 Tests with his last appearance coming during the Rugby Championship tournament in 2020. He was also part of the New Zealand Under 20 side that competed in the 2013 IRB Junior World Championship.
“Patrick has gone from strength to strength in recent years, both on the field and maybe more importantly, off the field. He is held in high esteem by his peers, and has a strong, quiet strength about him," New Zealand head coach Ian Foster.
“Whilst it’s sad to see him go in the short-term, we’re delighted that he has committed through to 2025.”