Blues reveal team for Chiefs clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: A determined Blues side will be looking to even the ledger when they take on the Chiefs at home at Eden Park this Saturday.
With both teams still looking to be in the mix for the Super Rugby play-offs, the scene is set for an epic battle between the two sides flanking the Bombay Hills.
The Chiefs won their last encounter 33-29 at FMG Stadium in Hamilton in Round Nine.
The Blues coaching team has retained the bulk of its run-on side with Scott Scrafton moving in to start at lock after an impressive performance against the Hurricanes last week.
Other changes include Alex Hodgman coming in at loosehead prop, with All Black Karl Tu’inukuafe set to make his impact off the bench, Jonathan Ruru will start at scrumhalf with Sam Nock out injured (finger), and speedster Caleb Clarke will take up his starting position on the right wing replacing the injured Tanielu Tele’a (foot).
Loose forward Dalton Papalii retains the No.6 jersey after a strong performance last week, while the physically imposing Tom Robinson is set to make his return from concussion, off the pine.
Blues: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Caleb Clarke, 13 TJ Faiane, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Harry Plummer, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson (co-captain), 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (co-captain), 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Lua Li, 18 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tom Robinson, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Otere Black, 23 Matt Duffie.
Date: Saturday, May 18
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Dan Waenga (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)