Promising young Canterbury lock signs with the Blues

One of Canterbury's most promising young locks has linked up with the Blues.

 Sam Darry of during the 2019 Jock Hobbs Tournament at Owen Delany Park in 2019. Photo: Getty Images
Sam Darry of during the 2019 Jock Hobbs Tournament at Owen Delany Park in 2019. Photo: Getty Images
Sam Darry has signed a three year deal with the Auckland franchise.

Said Darry: “I’ve had a pretty sheltered time my whole life in Christchurch and felt it was time to learn more about myself and as a rugby player standing on my own in the real world.

“It was a tough decision. As a Canterbury boy it was a strong pull to stay, but I knew deep down that I really needed to become more self-reliant.”

The former Christ's College captain, New Zealand Schools player and under-20 triallist turned 20 this week.

Darry said he was impressed with the Blues environment, their style of play and the feedback he got from coaches, players and administration.

“The Blues is a great option for me. They are a team on the rise, and I find their style of play enjoyable to watch.

“I was really impressed speaking with coaches Leon (MacDonald) and Tom (Coventry), and trainer Phil Healey who worked with Brodie Retallick in his younger days. Brodie is someone I look up to and as a tall and lanky lock, I want to model my game on his.

“The messages I got from everyone I spoke to were very consistent which has given me confidence about my decision and what I am going into.”

The 2m lock will continue to contract to the Canterbury provincial union, but an urge to step out of his comfort zone was a key driver to his decision to move north.

MacDonald said Darry is an excellent prospect for the future.

“He is a smart and driven young man. Sam is highly skilled and extremely hard-working. He has a big frame and is already known for his leadership qualities,” said MacDonald.

“Sam will learn so much from our coaching and training team, and right now, who better to learn from than Patrick Tuipulotu about how to succeed on and off the field.”

Blues chief executive Andrew Hore said Darry is an important part of the Blues development programme along with the existing plans working closely with the provincial unions in the Blues region, and the first of what he expects will be several significant signings over the coming weeks.

Darry has been in sights of nearly all of New Zealand's Super Rugby franchises, including the Crusaders, where he has been touted as a natural replacement in the next few season for Sam Whitelock.

Darry was also a member of Christ college's winning Maadi Cup rowing team, and Canterbury Under-19 player of the year last year.

 

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