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Tasman Mako duo Levi Aumua and Jed Brown included in Blues 2019 squad

The Blues have brought in an array of changes for their 2019 Super Rugby squad, which includes the likes of Tasman centre Levi Aumua and former All Blacks midfielder Ma'a Nonu.

Aumua is joined by his Mako teammate Jed Brown, who plays in the loose forwards.

No doubt new Blues assistant coach Leon MacDonald would have had a hand in bringing Aumua and Brown into the Auckland franchise, having coached the Tasman Mitre 10 Cup team.

Aumua will have some stiff competition with Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams, TJ Faiane and young gun Taniela Tele'a chasing for spots in the midfield.

All Blacks prop Karl Tu'inukuafe bolsters the Auckland side after a stellar year with the Chiefs and the New Zealand national side.

Head coach Tana Umaga says 2019 is about getting the team clicking and reach the play-offs.

"We have made progress with this team on and off the field over the last three years while our club has worked extremely well in many aspects of the operation off the field," said Umaga.

"The key now is to realise these improvements in our on-field performances in 2019.

"At the same time the club has been working very hard on the development programmes alongside our provincial unions, and our new players this year are either through that system or players that have been in the programme previously and returning."

Blues 2019 squad:

Outside Backs: Caleb Clarke, Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, Rieko Ioane, Melani Nanai, Jordan Trainor.

Midfield: Levi Aumua, TJ Faiane, Ma'a Nonu, Tanielu Tele'a, Sonny Bill Williams.

First-fives: Otere Black, Stephen Perofeta, Harry Plummer.

Halfbacks: Sam Nock, Augustine Pulu, Jonathan Ruru.

Loose forwards: Jed Brown, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Tom Robinson, Hoskins Sotutu, Jimmy Tupou.

Locks: Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Josh Goodhue, Jacob Pierce, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu.

Front row: Leni Apisai, Alex Hodgman, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Sione Mafileo, Matt Moulds, James Parsons, Marcel Renata, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Ofa Tu'ungafasi.

2019 changes:

Out: Bryn Gatland (Highlanders), Jerome Kaino (Toulouse), Pauliasi Manu (Hino, Japan), George Moala (Clement Auvergne), Glenn Preston, Kara Pryor, Isaac Salmon, Mike Tamoaieta, Murphy Taramai, Dan Kirkpatrick, Matt Johnson.

In: (Karl Tu'inukuafe (Chiefs), Ezekiel Lindenmuth (Blues Development - Auckland), Jacob Pierce (Blues Development – North Harbour), Ma'a Nonu (Toulon), Marcel Renata (Hurricanes), Hoskins Sotutu (Blues Development - Auckland), Harry Plummer (Blues Development – Auckland), Tanielu Tele'a (Blues Development – Auckland), Tom Robinson (Northland), Jed Brown (Tasman), Levi Aumua (Tasman).


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