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    Blues hooker set for 100th Super Rugby game

    2019-05-08 11:46

    Auckland - Hooker James Parsons will play his 100th Super Rugby game as he returns to the starting line-up for the Blues to face the Hurricanes at Eden Park on Friday.

    Kick-off is scheduled for 09:36 (SA time).

    He starts alongside All Blacks pair Karl Tu'inukuafe and  Ofa Tu'ungafasi in the front-row, who will be looking for an improved scrum effort.

    Co-captain Patrick Tuipulotu also starts with Josh Goodhue, who impressed last week, while there’s a mobile look to the back-row with Dalton Papalii starting with co-captain Blake Gibson and the resilient Akira Ioane.

    Both Tom Robinson and Alex Hodgman were not considered after not passing their post-game head injury assessments.

    All Black Rieko Ioane returns to the left wing, with Tanielu Tele’a back after suspension on the right wing in place of an illness-hit Caleb Clarke in the backs.

    Both the Blues and New Zealand Rugby will recognise the efforts of Parsons with presentations post-match.

    Head coach Leon MacDonald said he is challenging the side to put the last three weeks of indifferent performances behind them as they face the Hurricanes for the first time this season.

    “We are clearly disappointed with our overall performances in the last three games away. There have been lots of good aspects in each of those games but there have been one or two aspects in each of them that has let us down,” he said.

    “We are looking to put a complete performance together, one that we can be proud of and one that our fans deserve.

    “We continue to work hard and there are lots of good signs but one or two things let us down in these last two games in particular. This is an excellent opportunity for the team to right the ship.”

    Teams:

    Blues

    15 Melani Nanai, 14 Tanielu Tele'a, 13 TJ Faiane, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Harry Plummer, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson (co-captain), 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (co-captain), 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe

    Substitutes: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Scott Scrafton, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Otere Black, 23 Matt Duffie



    Substitutes: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Kane Le'aupepe, 20 Du'Plessis Kirifi, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 James Marshall, 23 Chase Tiatia

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    Fixtures

    Friday, 03 April 2020
    • Crusaders v Blues, Orangetheory Stadium 08:05
    Saturday, 04 April 2020
    • Chiefs v Bulls, FMG Stadium Waikato 05:45
    • Brumbies v Hurricanes, GIO Stadium 10:15
    • Stormers v Waratahs, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airline Park 17:15
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