Blues add Black, McAlister out


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The Blues have included two of their star All Black players for their fixture with the Cheetahs at Eden Park on Friday.

Both Ali Williams and Keven Mealamu return to lock and hooker respectively, firing up the Blues’ tight five.

The bad news for the Blues is that their chief playmaker this year, inside centre Luke McAlister has been ruled out for up to a month after going in for surgery on a fractured cheekbone.

McAlister missed a month of the last rugby season when he broke his jaw.

His position however is filled by another All Black, Sam Tuitupou, who recently signed for English club side Worcester, to play for them from after the World Cup until 2010.

Skipper Troy Flavell also returns after having missed last weekend’s game against the Chiefs with a groin injury.

Winger Joe Rokocoko earns a spot on the bench after recovering from a sprained ankle sustained in a club game.

Blues coach David Nucifora has also done some squad rotation – Steve Devine comes in for David Gibson, Justin Collins for Nick Williams and Anthony Tuitavake for Rudi Wulff.

Blues: 15 Ben Atiga, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Anthony Tuitavake, 10 Isa Nacewa, 9 Steve Devine, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Justin Collins, 5 Troy Flavell (c), 4 Ali Williams, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock
Replacements: Derren Witcombe, Nick White, Greg Rawlinson, Angus Macdonald, David Gibson, David Holwell, Joe Rokocoko

Date: 6 April 2007
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (7.35 GMT)
Referee: Paul Marks (Australia)
Touch judges: Dan Cheever (Australia), Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
Assessor: Alan Riley (New Zealand), Dennis Immelman (South Africa)


365 Digital

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