RICHARD FERGUSON updates keo.co.za followers of the latest Super Rugby news from New Zealand.
Discipline distracts Blues
Francis Saili is not the only bad apple in the Blues team after his reported ill-discipline with George Moala being dropped from the match 22 altogether.
In case you missed it, Saili has been dropped to the bench for driving with a suspended license. Moala reportedly broke team protocol, with John Kirwan calling him dishonest, and has been replaced in the starting line-up by Albert Nikoro.
Some good news is the fact the Rene Ranger is back to full fitness and we see him joining Jackson Willison in midfield.
Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Albert Nikoro, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney. Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Ronald Raaymakers, 19 Brendon O’Connor, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Francis Saili.
Savea one of six changes
The Hurricanes have made six changes to their team to take on the Stormers on Friday, the most notable being Julian Savea who has made himself unavailable for the match.
This comes after the winger was in court this week on an assault charge, and while he is out and his next court appearance is only in May, the player has stepped back from the team.
The backline sees quite a few changes with Matt Proctor coming in to replace Savea, making his debut. Andre Taylor returns to fullback with Beauden Barrett returning to flyhalf. TJ Perenara starts in place of Chris Smylie while Tusi Pisi drops to the bench.
Amongst the forwards we see Victor Vito return to action along with Karl Lowe and Jason Eaton, replacing Faifili Levave, Jack Lam and Mark Reddish respectively.
Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Matt Proctor, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Motu Matu’u, 1 Ben Franks. Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Ben May, 18 Mark Reddish, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Tusi Pisi.