Blues bring in Hyland for injured Ioane
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Blues have named a largely unchanged team to head across the Tasman to take on the Waratahs in Newcastle on Saturday in Round Two of Super Rugby.
Injuries have necessitated some tweaks with the team from the opening game against the Chiefs, with the strong running wing Jordan Hyland in for the injured Rieko Ioane; loose forward Blake Gibson starting for Tony Lamborn; All Black Karl Tu’inukuafe will start at loosehead for Alex Hodgman while Josh Goodhue earns his blazer game starting at lock alongside captain Patrick Tuipulotu.
The rest of the pack is the same that impressed against the Chiefs while there is a strong look to the bench with centurion James Parsons returning from off-season injury, All Black prop Ofa Tuungafasi along with the aggressive and versatile pair of Tom Robinson and Akira Ioane to add impact.
The back reserves remain unchanged with Sam Nock, Harry Plummer and Emoni Narawa.
Players not considered because of injury include: Otere Black (rib), Finlay Christie (neck), Gerard Cowley-Tuioti (shoulder), Jared Page (hamstring), Tanielu Tele’a (shoulder), James Tucker (knee), Tony Lamborn (infection), Alex Hodgman (calf), Ray Niuia (knee). Rieko Ioane (hand).
Blues: 15 Matt Duffie, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Tom Robinson, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Emoni Narawa.
Date: Saturday, February 8
Kick-off: 19.15 (21.15 NZ time; 08.15 GMT)
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy (Australia), Nicholas Berry (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)