All Blacks stars return for Blues
Cape Town - Jerome Kaino, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Male
Sa’u return to the Blues line-up for Saturday’s clash with the
Hurricanes in Wellington.
Kaino, Tu’ungafasi and Tuipulotu were involved with the All Blacks
series against Wales while Sa’u played for Japan against Scotland.
They will be welcome additions to the Blues, who have lost All Blacks
Charlie Faumuina and third Test star George Moala to injury.
There’s a relatively settled look to the side with a strong forward
pack built around five current or former All Blacks, with the backs
built around the core inside trio of Bryn Hall, Ihaia West and Piers
Sa’u, who played on the wing for Japan in their international series
at home, will return to his usual role of centre for the injured Moala.
There is a welcome return of loose forward Blake Gibson to the reserves after missing six games after surgery to his thumb.
The potential debutant is young North Harbour lock Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, bracketed with Hoani Matenga, who is ill.
It is the final New Zealand derby match for the Blues who will
complete their regular season with homes games against the Brumbies
(Friday, July 8) and the Waratahs (Friday, July 15), both at Eden Park.
15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Vince Aso, 11
Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad
Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Reggie
Substitutes: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Tony
Lambourn, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 Jason Woodward
15 Melani Nanai,14 Duffie, 13 Male S’au, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li,
10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Jerome
Kaino, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2James
Parsons (captain), 1 Sam Prattley
Substitutes: Quentin MacDonald, Namatahi Waa, Sione Mafileo, Gerard
Cowley-Tuioti/Hoani Matenga, Blake Gibson, Billy Guyton, Matt McGahan,
Matt Vaega/Lolagi Visinia