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Super Rugby preview – Blues


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, Super Rugby on 13 Feb 2012 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

The Blues go into the year’s Super Rugby campaign with one of the better squads they have had in years, with a strong forward pack linking up with a potent looking backline.

The Auckland based team will once again be captained by Keven Mealamu, who will lead from the front of a strong pack which includes All Black second rowers Anthony Boric and Ali Williams, and loose forwards Jerome Kaino and the Braid brothers.

It is in the backline though, where the squad now includes Piri Weepu, Ma’a Nonu and Rudi Wolf, adding to the already dangerous Alby Mathewson, Benson Stanley, Rene Ranger and Isaia Toeava. I know, scary right?

The biggest hurdle for this team will be to settle on a flyhalf, where they have lost Stephen Brett to the lure of the Euro. They do have a decent talent in Michael Hobbs, but it remains to be seen whether Piri Weepu will take up the pivot jersey, something he has done at the highest level for the All Blacks.

The player to look out for this season has to be Rene Ranger, who is rumoured to make a move into the outside centre jersey. Getting this speedy flyer closer to the ball will be really dangerous for any opposition, as he alone had 29 line breaks in the 2011 season.

The Blues should be able to make a strong claim for second spot in the New Zealand conference, and should be in the reckoning come play-off time.

The 2012 Blues Squad:

FORWARDS:

Anthony Boric
Daniel Braid
Luke Braid
Charlie Faumuina
Jerome Kaino
Chris Lowrey
Tevita Mailau
Pauliasi Manu
Tom McCartney
Keven Mealamu
Brad Mika
Liaki Moli
Filo Paulo
Peter Saili
Angus Ta’avao
Ali Williams
Tony Woodcock

BACKS:

Gareth Anscombe
Michael Hobbs
Alby Mathewson
George Moala
Lachie Munro
Ma’a Nonu
David Raikuna
Rene Ranger
Benson Stanley
Sherwin Stowers
Isaia Toeava
Piri Weepu
Rudi Wulf



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