Super Rugby

Blues team to play Northland Barbarians

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Blues head coach Tana Umaga has named his team to play the Northland Barbarians at Toll Stadium, Whangarei on Friday in a Super Rugby warm up match.

The Blues return to Super Rugby next week when they meet the Hurricanes in Wellington and are using this week’s match to ready themselves for the Hurricane.

The match will form a key game for the Northland players to vie for places in their team for the upcoming Mitre 10 Cup provincial competition.

In the forwards local Northland player Kara Pryor will start in the loose forwards with Hoani Matenga having his first start at the blindside role.

Of note in the reserves is Blake Gibson, returning after several weeks on the sideline with a thumb injury.

Piers Francis gets a start at first-five eighth with Matt McGahan and Michael Little into the midfield.

Two players – Ihaia West and Steven Luatua – are being rested with minor niggling injuries to ensure they are full fit to be considered for selection against the Hurricanes.

Blues

Sam Prattley (FR) , James Parsons (FR) (C) , Sione Mafileo (FR) , Gerard Cowley-Tuioti , Josh Bekhuis , Hoani Matenga , Kara Pryor , Joe Edwards , Billy Guyton , Piers Francis , Tevita Li , Matt McGahan , Michael Little , Matt Duffie , Melani Nanai

Replacements : Quentin MacDonald (FR) , Matt Moulds (FR) , Namatahi Waa (FR) , Nic Mayhew (FR) , Scott Scrafton , Brandon Nansen , Blake Gibson , Bryn Hall , Will Talataina Mu , Matt Vaega , Afa Fa’atau , Lolagi Visinia

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