Meet the Rookies: The Blues

2019 11 26 Coote Rugby NZ 066

Left to right: Mark Telea, Emoni Narawa, Jordan Hyland, Jared Page, Aaron Carroll, Kurt Eklund, Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa, Jack Heighton.


Emoni Narawa

DOB: 13/07/1999

Position: Wing

Mitre 10 Cup: Bay of Plenty

The Scoop: One of the standout players of the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup, 20-year-old Fijian flyer Emoni Narawa will be looking to make his mark for the Blues in 2020. Narawa was simply sensational for the Steamers as they earned promotion to the Premiership and deservedly topped many of the competition’s top attacking stats, including metres carries (1,027), clean breaks (36) and defenders beaten (74).


Kurt Eklund

DOB: 5/1/1992

Position: Hooker

Mitre 10 Cup: Bay of Plenty

The Scoop: Another player who stood out for Bay of Plenty during their successful Mitre 10 Cup campaign, Kurt Eklund made an impressive comeback from a knee injury after spending 14 months out of action. At 27-years-old, Eklund is a seasoned campaigner who can be counted on to nail his core roles and offer plenty of physicality in the tight exchanges.


Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa

DOB: 4/5/1998

Position: Loose forward/lock

Mitre 10 Cup: Auckland

The Scoop: A versatile player, 21-year-old Waimana Reidlinger-Kapa has been rewarded for a strong season for Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup with his first Investec Super Rugby contract. Able to play either in the loose forwards or at lock, Reidlinger-Kapa could provide a handy bench option for coach Leon McDonald in his debut season.



Jared Page

DOB: 22/7/93

Position: Fullback/First five-eighth

Mitre 10 Cup: North Harbour

The Scoop: Blessed with genuine speed, silky ball skills and an accurate boot, Jared Page is a playmaker who can slot in equally well at first five-eighth or fullback. Tana Umaga had big wraps on Page during his time as coach of Counties Manukau and a shift from the Steelers to North Harbour has seen Page secure a Blues contract for the first time.


Mark Telea

DOB: 6/12/96

Position: Wing

Mitre 10 Cup: North Harbour

The scoop: Mark Telea is a top-quality finisher who lands a Super Rugby contract for the first time after being a member of the Hurricanes wider training group in 2019. Telea debuted in the MItre 10 Cup for North Harbour in 2016 and has established himself as a key attacking weapon for the Hibiscus.


Jack Heighton

DOB: 26/02/1999

Position: First five-eighth, Fullback

Mitre 10 Cup: North Harbour

The scoop: Perhaps one of the most unknown players selected to a Super Rugby contract for the first time in 2020, Jack Heighton is a promising first five-eighth out of North Harbour. Injuries curtailed much of Heighton’s 2019 season but 2020 is shaping as a big season for the youngster with experienced pivots like Beauden Barrett and Otere Black in the Blues squad to learn from.



Jordyn Hyland

DOB: 3/10/89

Position: Wing

Mitre 10 Cup: Northland

The scoop: It might come as a surprise to see 30-year-old Jordan Hyland on this list after appearing for the Blues in 2018 and Highlanders in 2019. At 1.88cm and 105kg, Hyland is extremely tough to put down with ball in hand seems to be getting better with age after being selected for the Maori All Blacks for the first time in 2019.


Aaron Carroll

DOB: 11/10/93

Position: Lock

Mitre 10 Cup: Bay of Plenty

The scoop: Hard working Bay of Plenty lock Aaron Carroll has been elevated to a Blues contract for the first time following a career ending prognosis for fellow Steamers lock Baden Wardlaw. Carroll was highly impressive for the Chiefs development team in 2019 and picked up their player of the year award. After missing out on the Chiefs squad in 2020, Carroll will be eager to make the most of his opportunity with the Blues.


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