Patrick Tuipulotu to start for Blues
Cape Town - The Blues will field a largely unchanged side to host the Chiefs in their first home game of the Super Rugby season at Eden Park on Friday.
All Black Patrick Tuipulotu, who came off the bench in the narrow loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin last week, will get his start at lock with Scott Scrafton, with the experienced Jimmy Tupou back to full fitness to start at loose forward.
All Black Jerome Kaino, who earlier on Wednesday announced he will finish his distinguished career at the Blues at the end of the season, will come off the bench for his first game of the season after recovery from injury.
The changes in the back-line will see TJ Faiane start at inside centre in place of Sonny Bill Williams, who has not recovered sufficiently from a knee injury but is expected to join the squad that heads to South Africa at the weekend.
Melani Nanai also gets a start at fullback with Michael Collins to come off the bench.
The other change in the pack has the experienced Pauliasi Manu to start at loosehead prop with Alex Hodgman as reserve.
15 Melani Nanai, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9Augustine Pulu (captain), 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Murphy Taramai, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Substitutes: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Michael Tamoaieta, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Jerome Kaino, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 23 Michael Collins
15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross
Substitutes: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Mitchell Brown/Luke Jacobson, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Tiaan Falcon, 23 Bailyn Sullivan/Declan O’Donnell