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Page last updated at 09:28 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Laulala aims to repay Blues faith

Casey Laulala
Laulala made his New Zealand debut against Wales in November 2004

New Zealand centre Casey Laulala says he wants to repay the Cardiff Blues for showing their faith in signing him.

Laulala, 27, turned down Magners League champions Munster to join the Blues in July, but has just arrived in Wales after the season ended Down Under.

He has suffered an injury-hit 2009 due to first a shoulder injury and then a broken left arm.

"I was impressed with the way they went about the whole process and the way things were conducted," said Laulala.

"The Blues also showed a lot of faith in me and followed me with interest when I injured my arm which was good to know as sometimes people get a bit down when they pick up injuries."

Laulala, who made his debut for New Zealand against Wales in Cardiff in November 2004, signed off the season Down Under in Canterbury's 28-20 Air New Zealand Cup win over Wellington in Christchurch last month.

He is described by many as one of the hardest players to contain in broken-field play in the New Zealand game and was schooled at Wesley College - the same place that helped develop Jonah Lomu.


"It was good to leave Canterbury on a high having won the Air New Zealand Cup but I was ready for a change," he said.

"I wanted a change of lifestyle and living in Europe certainly appealed.

"However I also wanted a change of environment on the rugby front having played for the same team for seven years, so I was looking for something different.

"Playing in the Heineken Cup would be incredible.

"I watched the big Heineken Cup games on TV last season and they were awesome, but unfortunately the semi-final was decided on a kicking contest, which was a bit pathetic.

"It was impressive to see the amount of people that attended the matches as we don't have crowds that big in New Zealand."

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see also
Blues sign wing James and Laulala
22 Jul 09 |  Cardiff Blues

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