Ranger to miss final match

Rene Ranger will sit out the Blues’ last game of the season due to a groin strain.

Ranger will be replaced by Hadleigh Parkes on the left wing. There is good news for the Blues on the injury front, however, as Charlie Faumuina has recovered from a calf tear and will start at tighthead.

Steven Luatua has shaken off a foot injury sustained in the match against the Force, although Pat Lam has decided to start Luatua at lock instead of flank.

Meanwhile, the Blues will appoint a new Super Rugby coach next week. Those in the running include Taranaki and Canada coach Kieran Crowley and former Japan coach John Kirwan. John Plumtree was mentioned as a possible candidate but Fairfax News reports that the New Zealander will see out his contract with the Sharks.

Lam, who has been under fire this season following the team’s shocking run of results, is also set to reapply.

Blues – 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Lachie Munro, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Hadleigh Parkes, 10 Michael Hobbs, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Luke Braid, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Chris Lowrey, 5 Steven Luatua, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Andrew Van der Heijden, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Orene Ai’i, 22 Sherwin Stowers.