Relieved Tuipulotu straight into action with Blues

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Lynn McConnell     10 Feb 2017     Getty Images

Tuipulotu, who was forced to return home early from the All Blacks' November tour when a first positive test was received, said he was relieved with the outcome.

It had been stressful for himself, his partner and his family. He had lost sleep during the first few weeks, but his partner and family had been supportive and got him through the process.

"I'm really just looking forward to getting out on that paddock again and training with the Blues and playing," he said.

While he awaited advice on what had happened to cause the issue with his No.1 sample, he said he was leaving that to his support team.

"I've just been told from my team that it is all being dealt with right now."

He had been shocked when notified by All Blacks' team management of his positive test in November.

"It was quite stressful and hard to take at the time and we just had to go through the long process from then until now," he said.

Unable to talk about the process, he said it was long, but he was relieved with the outcome.

Under the protocols involved he was suspended pending the result of his B sample and was unable to train with the Blues and had to undertake preparation for the season by himself and he said that had been hard.

"It was a good eye-opener for me in terms of other aspects outside of rugby. I'll take a lot from this and hopefully learn a bit too," he said.

Coach Tana Umaga said Tuipulotu would be worked back into training to see how he was shaping but it was a moment that both Tuipulotu and the Blues had been waiting for, although players were keen to avoid him during his first few days as he looked to make up for lost time in contact work.

Umaga said it was a relief to have him back although the team management had been working on 'what-ifs' in a worse-case scenario.

His own reaction when first hearing the news of a positive first test was one of disbelief because the management had total faith in Tuipulotu and what he did.

Umaga said he couldn't talk about the process in place for such cases and any rights or wrongs that were associated with it.

The fact was a process was needed and it was long and stressful and all they could do was support the person involved during that process.

"We have to have faith because it is the process. It's not something we question," he said.

The Blues could only control what they could control and the outcomes of the process meant they had to work with it.

If there were flaws in the process it was up to people better placed than he was to sort out, Umaga said.