English International starts for Blues
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Blues will have their final pre-season outing at North Harbour on Friday ahead of the Super Rugby season.
Harbour and Takapuna Rugby Club will host the Blues and the Hurricanes in an important pre-season clash at Onewa Domain on Friday.
It will be the first chance for Blues fans to see English International Joe Marchant who will play the first half of the game at centre.
The whole Blues squad will play on Friday with Marchant in the midfield alongside TJ Faiane who will captain he “first-half” team.
Marchant was quick to thank his teammates when asked about his starting role. “Everyone’s been so friendly and welcoming since I’ve arrived.
“It’s been a fast-paced pre-season, everything is done at top speed. It helps having such perfect conditions to train in. I was on the phone with family back home and it’s minus 1 Deg and I’m on my way to training in 25 Deg.”
Local fans will welcome Harbour‘s All Black Karl Tu’inukafe who will also play the first half, back to full fitness after off-season surgery.
Blues: 15 Emoni Narawa, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 TJ Faiane (captain), 11 Mark Telea, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Tony Lamborn, 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 James Tucker, 4 Aaron Carroll, 3 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 2 Ray Niuia, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements – from: Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Luteru Tolai, Marcel Renata, Jacob Pierce, Josh Goodhue, Tom Robinson, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Sam Nock, Harry Plummer, Matt Duffie, Tevita Mafileo, Lewis Gjaltema, Sam Caird, Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa, Tamati Tua, Soane Vikena.
Date: Friday, January 24
Venue: Onewa Domain, Takapuna
Kick-off: 15.00 (04.00 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill