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Blues sign two Crusaders forwards

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/06/2016
Crusaders forward Jimmy Tupou © Getty Images Crusaders forward Jimmy Tupou

The Blues have lured two Crusaders forwards north to further boost their stocks ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

Utility Jimmy Tupou and prop Alex Hodgman will play under coach Tana Umaga next year, with both having struggled for game time this year at the All Blacks-laden Crusaders.

Tupou, 23, will end four seasons at the Crusaders, where he has been in and out of the team as a lock or loose forward. This year, six of his seven appearances have been off the bench.

Hodgman is a former Blues under-18 player who has made just one bench appearance this year.

Umaga, who coached Tupou at NPC level with Counties Manukau, is pleased he has a player to provide depth at lock, with first-choice leaper Josh Bekhuis taking up a French club contract later this year.

Alex Hodgman © Getty Images Alex Hodgman Hodgman, 22, played at the junior world championship for Fiji in 2012 and then for New Zealand a year later.

The Blues last week announced the signature of All Blacks back and cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams for three years.

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