NZ latest – Blues suffer Toeava blow

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Blues suffer Toeava blow - Isaia Toeava has been ruled out of the remainder of the Super Rugby season with a hip injury.

The Blues fullback has struggled with the same injury for the past couple of seasons. Now he has suffered a hip stress fracture, which will sideline him for the rest of the campaign. He is, however, expected to recover in time for the All Blacks later this year.

Toeava’s absence sees a shuffle in the Blues backline. Jared Payne moves to fullback with Rene Ranger roped in at centre. Lachie Munro will start his first game of the season at wing. Centre Luke McAlister is out with an ankle injury.

Blues - 15 Jared Payne, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Lachie Munro, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saiili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Chris Lowrey, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Tevita Mailau.
Subs: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 James King, 19 Sean Tolwart, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Aaron Bancroft, 22 Sherwin Stowers.

Canes shift Kirkpatrick to 12 – With injuries sidelining Ma’a Nonu and Charlie Ngatai, pivot Daniel Kirkpatrick will slot in at inside centre for the Hurricanes’ match against the Blues in Wellington this weekend.

Ngatai was filling in for Nonu in the Hurricanes’ win over the Reds last Saturday but suffered a broken ankle. Head coach Mark Hammet has decided to pick Kirkpatrick in the No 12 jersey.

Kirkpatrick will provide better goal kicking this weekend. Although flyhalf Aaron Cruden nailed the match-winning penalty for the victory, he missed a number of goal attempts during the game.

Hurricanes - 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Jayden Hayward, 12 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Chris Eaton, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore (c), 1 John Schwalger. Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18 Jeremy Thrush, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Tyson Keats, 21 Julian Savea, 22 Beauden Barrett.