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Kirwan swings a heavy axe

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 26 Feb 2014 at 10:59
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Blues have made several changes to their side to face the Crusaders this weekend, after a surprise opening loss against the Highlanders.

Like opposite number Todd Blackadder, Blues coach Sir John Kirwan has laid blame for the defeat firmly on his flyhalf, meaning Chris Noakes will watch the game from the stands this week, while Baby Black pivot Simon Hickey makes his first Super Rugby appearance in the number 10 jersey. Francis Saili also loses his spot at inside centre, with Jackson Willison moving in from 13 and George Moala coming in outside him. Moala’s spot at wing goes to young Tevita Li.

Up front, Patrick Tuipulotu is in at lock for Liaki Moli (who drops to the bench), while Sam Prattley comes in to start in the number 1 jersey as Ofa Tu’ungafasi drops out. A pair of stalwarts return to the bench in the form of All Blacks Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock. Captain Luke Braid is also under an injury cloud and has been bracketed with Brendon O’Connor at openside flank. Jordan Manihera will wear the 20 jersey is Braid is ruled out.

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid (captain)/Brendon O’Connor, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Liaki Moli, 20 Brendan O’Connor/Jordan Manihera, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Benji Marshall, 23 Pita Ahki.


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