Tuipulotu defies medical odds for shot at Super Rugby Pacific glory

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Tuipolotu tore the medial ligament in his right knee in the side's quarterfinal win over the Fijian Drua.

He was expected to be unavailable for five to six weeks, but after testing the knee on Monday in the gym and then on the field on Tuesday, the Blues' medical team found no effects from the injury and gave him the all-clear.

Team doctor James McGarvey said the injury was a known quantity, and Tuipolotu had guided him to make his return.

"Patty felt good on Monday, and with strapping found he was able to do everything rugby related with minimal symptoms. Given it's a final, he decided to try to work through the week and play."

Coach Vern Cotter said Tuipulotu was a welcome addition to the pack as its talisman lock and leader.

"There's a deep desire in this group to go the whole way, but to do that, we need to be clear in our thinking and disciplined and not let the occasion get the better of us.

"The Chiefs will be coming to spoil the party. We've got a sold out Eden Park that we hope will be awash in blue. This will be a great occasion and I can feel the excitement building in the group."

Announcing the Chiefs' side, coach Clayton McMillan said they were looking forward to 'a massive occasion for rugby.'

"The Blues have impressed with how they have gone about their work, establishing a harder edge under Vern whilst maintaining their ability to hurt you through their explosive backs.

"I can't see them wavering from their willingness to kick long, pressure the ball and go to war through the middle of the park, so we at least know what's coming our way."

McMillan said the Chiefs' season had been a rollercoaster, but they arrived at the finals in their best form to dominate the quarter and semifinals.

"We produced some good footy when it mattered and feel battle-hardened for a final.

"Our leaders have stepped up, driven our preparation and led by example through their performances.

"It's unfortunate to have lost some key players through injury, but no team has been immune to this, and you won't see us worrying about something we can't control.

"We are excited for the players who now get their opportunity. In [hooker] Tyrone Thompson and [lock] Manaaki Selby-Rickit, we have two quality players who will serve the team extremely well."