Charles Piutau to play at fullback for Blues

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan has revealed that Charles Piutau will play the early part of the Super Rugby season at fullback.

The Blues play the Chiefs in Rotorua this weekend in their final Super Rugby warm up and Piutau will wear the No15 jersey and quite possibly their season opening match against the Highlanders in Dunedin next week.

Twenty-two-year-old Piutau burst on the scene in 2012 for the Blues as a fullback but he was more used to playing on the wing and also featured for the All Blacks on the wing.

The All Blacks looking a little thin at centre so it was thought that Piutau could spend time in that position for the Blues to learn the ropes.

However Kirwan appears to have solved part of his backline talent jigsaw featuring Benji Marshall, Ma’a Nonu, Francis Saili, Jackson Willison and George Moala by playing Piutau at 15.

“Everyone’s talking about Charles at centre and we’d like to give him some time there but when you’re reintegrating guys in late they need to be comfortable with what they are doing before you start changing them,” Kirwan told APNZ.

“He’s comfortable at fullback, he loves it, he’s a talented boy, he’s in our leadership group, so let’s get him on the paddock and worry about variations later on.”

George Moala has been selected at centre against the Chiefs and he was impressive in the Blues first Super Rugby warm up match against the Hurricanes and with Nonu being out injured he could spent time in the early part of the season alongside Saili.

Kirwan has played Marshall at 10 and he says that the league convert is in a selection battle with Chris Noakes.

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