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Ai'i hints at coaching future

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Sportal.co.nz     06 Jul 2012     Getty Images

As he was called into the injury-ravaged Blues side for their last two Investec Super Rugby games of the year, Ai'i said he would learn as much as he could off coach Pat Lam and the other Blues coaches as a prelude to taking on coaching in the future.

Ai'i (31) said he never thought he would wear the Blues jersey again but it felt good to be back.

He had been enjoying the opportunity Northland had provided for him and while he had played only three games at club level for Kamo it was working well and he was looking forward to the ITM Cup which starts next month.

"It's quite a young squad up there so they keep me honest and they push me hard," he said.

Ai'i made 69 Super Rugby appearances before moving to Japan where he played five years for Toyota Verblitz, broken by two seasons with Toulon from 2007-09.

He was looking to get on the field and to help the team as much as he could and to put his experience to use if required.

"I've been around this environment a long time and hopefully I can add something to the boys," he said.

Ai'i added that as an old Blue the season had been disappointing, and the players and coaches would all be feeling that. But it was a case of just carrying on to try and make the best of things.

"It's not always going to go your way but coming back into the fold from the outside looking in it has been disappointing."

He said while you might get older and slower in rugby you never lost the skills of the game.

"There's a few tricks out there...but they might come off a bit slower than they used to," he said.

"For me it is about doing the basics and doing what is good for the team and if it happens it happens, and if it doesn't keep trying until it does."

At the moment he wasn't considering Super Rugby options in his future as he concentrated on these two games for the Blues and the ITM Cup campaign, then he would worry about his future plans, he said.