Blues bring back big names
31 May 2012
Blues coach Pat Lam has made six personnel and two positional changes for the starting team to take on the Chiefs in Albany.
Ma’a Nonu and Ali Williams return at centre and lock respectively while Rene Ranger and Rudi Wulf start after recovering from injuries. There is, however, no recall for Piri Weepu. With Gareth Anscombe out for the remainder of the season, Michael Hobbs takes over at flyhalf.
Meanwhile the Chiefs have also been forced into changes due to injuries. Craig Clarke and Tanerau Latimer are both sidelined, with Michael Fitzgerald replacing the former and Sam Cane the latter.
Elsewhere props Sona Taumalolo and Ben Afeaki start along with hooker Mahonri Schwalger in the front row. In the back division Maritino Nemani takes over from Lelia Masaga at wing. Lock Romana Graham gets his first call up for the season on the bench and is joined by loose forward Scott Waldrom and hooker Hika Elliot.
Blues - 15 Rudi Wulf, 14 Lachie Munro, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Michael Hobbs, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Luke Braid (c), 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Tevita Mailau, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Angus Ta’avao, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Hadleigh Parkes, 22 David Raikuna.
Chiefs - 15 Andrew Horrell, 14 Maritino Nemani, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (c), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Subs: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Romana Graham, 19 Scott Waldrom, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Robbie Robinson, Lelia Masaga