Vodacom Super 14

New dads in Blues team

2009-02-26 08:51
Back in the team (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The three new dads will offer a measure of stability in the ranks of the Auckland visitors who fielded a bunch of green horns last week when they were thumped 59-26 at Loftus.

Joe Rokocoko, Taniela Moa and Jerome Kaino all became new fathers over the past week.

Blues coach Pat Lam has included lock Kurtis Haiu in his starting line-up but his fitness will only be confirmed closer to the 19:10 kick-off and, should he be withdrawn from the action, Chris Lowrey will move off the bench to take his place. Haiu took a knock to the head last week.

Saturday's clash at Newlands will mark a milestone in the career of flanker Justin Collins who will be making his 100th appearance in Super Rugby and will join an elite group of players like Doug Howlett, Carlos Spencer and Xavier Rush, all of whom have racked up over 80 games in the famous Blues jersey.

"He's just a legend on and off the field," Lam said. "It's the fact that he can not only be here at his age and the amount of games he's played but it's for the quality that he brings week in week out; it's just that ruthlessness, he's a real competitor.

"You'd still think he was only 21 the way he throws himself around out on the field and he's still one of the fittest guys in this side so we're really pleased for him."

Rokocoko said the return of a few senior plays will help the rookies in the side to cope with the pressures of playing in front of the large Newlands crowd.

"We (the senior players) have to lead by example and help the youngsters to feel comfortable," said Rokocoko.

"It's important to lend them support so that they can play their natural game against a team that includes so many class acts."

All Black prop Tony Woodcock has been nursing a hamstring this week but appears to be fit to make up his place in a rather formidable Blues front row.

The other player to have caused some concern is fullback Isaia Toeava who has been troubled by a knee injury. However, he looks set to do battle against the struggling Stormers.


Isaia Toeava, Joe Rokocoko, Anthony Tuitavake, Jamie Helleur, Paul Williams, Tasesa Lavea, Taniela Moa, Jerome Kaino, Josh Blackie, Justin Collins, Anthony Boric, Kurtis Haiu/Chris Lowrey, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu (captain), Tony Woodcock.

Substitutes: Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau, Chris Lowrey/Dean Budd, Peter Saili, Chris Smylie, Michael Hobbs, Winston Stanley


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