Former Blues hooker James Parsons has saluted the performance of Number 8 Hoskin Sotutu, who shares links to Fiji.
Sotutu’s name was highlighted as the young No 8 has found himself on the outside looking in for national honours in 2023 while he was dropped from Ian Foster’s All Blacks squad to the Rugby World Cup in France.
Sotutu has played second fiddle to Ardie Savea in the All Blacks camp over recent years, struggling to find game time behind the man who many believe to be New Zealand’s best.
Parsons assessed Sotutu’s 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season statistics on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod to assess what went wrong.
“We waxed lyrical about how he had put on a bit of size, and how he was being dominant and I went through his stats and compared them to the other No 8s and he leads them. The only one that Ardie beats him in is tackle percentage and the turnover.”
“He’s got 20 to 30 more post-contact meters, 20 or 30 meters more when he’s in the carry, similar sort of carries in the game.
“He must have run out of steam because his form was great. Those stats are only half of the story and that’s why I think the last two weeks, the quarter-final and the semi-final have played a big part in the selections around this.