Sharks face All Black Blues
Cape Town - Blues coach John Kirwan has named all his All Black stars in a 26-man squad to travel to South Africa.
The Blues depart on Friday, playing the Sharks in Durban next Saturday (June 29) before heading to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs on July 6.
According the Rugby365 website
, All Black squad members Charles Piutau, Francis Saili, Steven Luatua, Piri Weepu, Keven Mealamu and Rene Ranger will only join the team early next week - following New Zealand's series against France - but are expected to be unleashed on the Sharks.
The inconsistent Blues are currently eight on the overall Super Rugby log
, with six wins and seven losses.
Kirwan said it will be crucial to kick-start the tour with a victory over the Sharks to stay in the playoff race.
"The second week really means nothing yet. The Sharks game is a must-win for us, it's like our final and that's because if we win that then we stay completely in touch with the top six.
"The Cheetahs will then become a different kettle of fish so we just need to get back on the horse and play a good game of footy."Blues squad:
Tim Perry, Sam Prattley, Angus Ta'avao, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Quentin MacDonald, Keven Mealamu, James Parsons, Anthony Boric, Culum Retallick, Ali Williams (captain), Luke Braid, Steven Luatua, Peter Saili, Brendon O'Connor, Kane Barrett, Jamison Gibson-Park, Piri Weepu, Baden Kerr, Chris Noakes, Francis Saili, Jackson Willison, Rene Ranger, George Moala, Frank Halai, Charles Piutau, Lolagi Visinia