Four players have been selected from each team and now it is over to fans to vote for their MVP based on the first seven rounds of Super Rugby. Here are your four options from the Blues:
Mark Telea (Wing)
Relatively unknown at the start of the season, flying wing Mark Telea is now an automatic selection for coach Leon MacDonald on the Blues team-sheet. The 23-year-old speedster has started in all seven of the Blues games in 2020, scoring five tries and topping most of their attacking statistics. He leads the competition in defenders beaten with 54 and is second overall in metres made (559) and third in clean breaks (14). His form has been rewarded with a spot at the top of the Super Rugby New Zealand rookie of the year leaderboard. He is on top of the ladder with 13 points, five ahead of second-placed Tom Christie from the Crusaders.
TJ Faiane (second five eighth)
TJ ‘Mr Consistent’ Faiane has been the glue in the Blues eye-catching resurgence in 2020. A player with an exemplary all-round game, Faiane has made the number 12 jersey his own in the wake of Sonny Bill Williams’ departure to the Toronto Wolfpack. Racking up an average of almost 70 minutes per game in the Blues opening seven games, Faiane is an integral member of the squad and stepped up as captain in the absence of Patrick Tuipulotu against the Lions.
Hoskins Sotutu (No.8)
There were plenty of eyebrows raised when powerful youngster Hoskins Sotutu was selected in the No.8 jersey ahead of Akira Ioane for the Blues season opening game against the Chiefs. But it didn’t take long to see why as Sotutu battered the Chiefs defensive line with a succession of potent runs and matched up well against his All Blacks opposite Sam Cane. Since then, Sotutu has looked like a seasoned campaigner in the Blues outfit. While his ball running is an obvious strength, a tackle success rate of 97% really underlines the class of this talented 21-year-old.
Patrick Tuipulotu (lock)
After years of underachieving, the Blues look to be the real deal in 2020 and that is down in no small part to the leadership of captain Patrick Tuipulotu. A no-nonsense player, Tuipulotu leads with his actions and inspires through an unwavering commitment to the cause. He may not get the headlines that some of the flashier Blues players get, but without Tuipulotu’s talismanic presence the Blues may not currently be sitting at the number two spot in the New Zealand conference.