All Blacks’ Tuip­u­lotu set for comeback

New Straits Times - - Sport -

WELLING­TON: All Blacks lock Pa­trick Tuip­u­lotu is set to re­turn to Su­per Rugby af­ter an off-sea­son blighted by a doping scare.

Tuip­u­lotu missed the Auck­land Blues’ sea­son-open­ing win over the Mel­bourne Rebels last week but has been named in the re­serves by coach Tana Umaga for to­mor­row’s tough away clash against the Waikato Chiefs in Hamil­ton.

The 24-year-old has en­dured a ner­vous three months since he was sent home from the All Blacks’ tour of Europe in Novem­ber af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for an un­spec­i­fied banned sub­stance.

But he was cleared three weeks ago fol­low­ing test­ing of his ‘B’ sam­ple by an ac­cred­ited lab­o­ra­tory in the United States.

Tuip­u­lotu joins a bench laden with All Blacks, in­clud­ing World Cup-win­ning loose for­ward Jerome Kaino who will also make his first ap­pear­ance of the sea­son.

The start­ing side is un­changed from the 15 that set up the im­pres­sive 56-18 win over the Rebels in Mel­bourne last week.

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