Keo.co.za brings you news from New Zealand’s Super Rugby franchises.
Henry wants Nonu to stay -All Blacks coach Graham Henry wants the NZRU to offer Ma’a Nonu a contract that ensures he is not completely lost to New Zealand rugby.
Nonu will play his last game for the Hurricanes this week, and has spoken about moving overseas. Henry has since chatted with Nonu and believes something can be done to keep him in the country.
‘We’d like him to stay and I think he will stay,’ Henry said. ‘I think we need some flexibility in his contract, maybe some time out of the country to play a bit of footy and then come back. I don’t know, I’m talking about things I shouldn’t be talking about.
‘When he is on the job he is a world class player and he has the ability to break the line better than the majority of midfield players in the world. And he has played very well for us.’
Henry added that he has never had problems with Nonu and Andrew Hore, and doesn’t believe the problems at the Hurricanes will be transferred to the All Blacks. Henry will name his Tri-Nations squad on 10 July.
Smylie to tackle Highlanders - Chris Smylie will start at scrumhalf while Alby Mathewson has been dropped to the bench.
Mathewson hasn’t trained since he suffered a head injury in last week’s loss to the Crusaders. He will be fine to play this weekend, but the management isn’t willing to risk him in a starting position.
The only other change to the starting line-up sees Lachie Munro replacing Rene Ranger, who is out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury.
Blues -15 Jared Payne, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Lachie Munro, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Charlie Faumuina.
Subs: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Chris Lowrey, 19 Sean Polwart, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Winston Stanley, 22 Sherwin Stowers.