Rush was not expected to arrive at the Arms Park until November but the Blues are desperate to land the star in time for the opening Celtic League match on September 3.
The dynamic ball-carrier and highly effective line-out weapon is still contracted to his province Auckland who want him to remain until the end of their season on October 22. But the Blues want the 28-year-old Super 12 star on board well before that - and the player himself is eager to begin his new career in the Welsh capital as soon as possible.
Blues chairman Peter Thomas and chief executive Bob Norster flew to New Zealand last week in a bold attempt to negotiate an early release for the eight-times capped Rush. And since his return to Wales, Norster has written to David White, chief executive of the Auckland Rugby Union, to follow up the face-to-face meeting.
"We went to New Zealand in person because it's always easier to meet with people face-to-face. Now that we are back, we are continuing to hold pro-active negotiations with the Auckland RU," said Norster. The Blues' case may be helped by the fact that highly-rated young Auckland back-rowers Jerome Kaino and Angus McDonald have not been included in the All Blacks squad for the Tri-Nations.
"I have written to their chief executive to try and get some feedback in the wake of the All Blacks squad selection. We are obviously very keen to have Xavier on board as soon as possible because he's a top-quality player and we believe he will be a huge asset to our squad," he said. "He is keen to come over sooner rather than later and we are working hard towards getting him here for the start of the season."
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