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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Rush released early to join Blues
Xavier Rush
Rush will bring a wealth of experience to the Blues pack
Xavier Rush has been released from his contract with Auckland to join up early with Cardiff Blues.

The former New Zealand number eight signed for the Blues in May but was due to remain with Auckland until the end of their NPC campaign in November.

But the 28-year-old has not featured this season due to glandular fever and so Auckland have decided to let him go.

The Blues will be hoping to have Rush fit for their Heineken Cup opener at home to Leeds Tykes on 22 October.

Rush, who captained Auckland to an NPC and Ranfurly Shield double as well as clinching the Super 12 title with the Auckland Blues in 2003, said: "Auckland Rugby has given me so much.

"I will always be grateful for the opportunities it had given me and the times I have had with the team.

"I appreciate the early release I have been granted and it will definitely help me prepare for the new challenges ahead."

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