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    Nonu back for Blues, Sonny Bill benched

    2019-03-01 07:29

    Cape Town - The Blues have named their team to take on the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday (kick-off 23:40 SA time).

    Coach Leon Macdonald is looking for a more accurate and physical performance from his side after the loss to the Sharks in Durban last week.

    "We trained very well last week and spoke about our accuracy and our discipline. But we just did not play as we practiced or talked which was disappointing to the whole team," he told the Blues' official website.

    "We are definitely looking for a much-improved performance all-round. We know it is there and this is an important opportunity to move our game forward."

    The side remains mostly the same with Alex Hodgman earning a start in the front row as the only change to the starting pack. The experienced Augustine Pulu gets his first start for the season at halfback while Ma'a Nonu swaps places with Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield.

    Rookie wing Tanielu Tele'a, who impressed off the bench on debut, is listed to start his first Super game for the Blues.

    Teams:

    Jaguares

    15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matias Orlando (captain), 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortego Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Mayco Vivas

    Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Joaquin Tuculet

    Blues

    15 Melani Nanai, 14 Tanielu Tele’a, 13 TJ Faiane, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Otere Black, 9 Augustine Pulu; 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman

    Substitutes: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Matt Matich, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Sonny Bill Williams

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    Friday, 22 March 2019
    • Blues v Highlanders, Eden Park 08:35
    Saturday, 23 March 2019
    • Hurricanes v Stormers, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Crusaders, Sydney Cricket Ground 10:45
    • Sunwolves v Lions, Singapore National Stadium 12:55
    • Bulls v Chiefs, Loftus Versfeld 15:05
    • Sharks v Rebels, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15
    Sunday, 24 March 2019
    • Reds v Brumbies, Suncorp Stadium 07:05

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