Cape Town - Blues boss Sir John Kirwan has made eight changes to his starting XV for Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Kick-off is at 09:35 SA time.
All Blacks Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu and Charlie Faumuina, who all
came off the bench against the Highlanders last week, will be the
starting front row this week, boasting 260 Test caps and 383 Super Rugby
games collectively under their belts.
Mealamu will also assume the captaincy with Jerome Kaino given time
out in the All Blacks rotation - after playing in eight of the Blues’
nine games - along with James Parsons and Charles Piutau, who get their
Steven Luatua returns to play at No 8 with teenager Akira
Ioane given a second game after his impressive debut last week, while
Jimmy Cowan returns to start at scrumhalf and Lolagi Visinia at
Players not considered because of injury are Patrick Tuipulotu, out
with a leg injury, and Pita Ahki with a hamstring injury; both are
likely to be out for two weeks.
Northland hooker Matt Moulds comes on to the bench looking for his debut.
15 Tom Taylor, 14 David Havili, 13 Ryan
Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8
Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke
Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody,
18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Kieron
Fonotia, 23 Nafi Tuitavake
15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Francis
Saili, 12 George Moala, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Dan Bowden,9 Jimmy Cowan, 8
Steven Luatua, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4
Josh Bekhuis, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18
Angus Ta’avao, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Blake Gibson, 21 Jamison
Gibson-Park, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Tevita Li