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Cruden in Chiefs squad for Blues Super Rugby trial

Aaron Cruden will start for the Chiefs

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has named Aaron Cruden in a 30 strong squad to play the Blues in the team’s final Super Rugby pre-season match in Pukekohe.

The match will be the final chance for players to stake their claim for inclusion in the squad that will kick of the Super Rugby season against the Crusaders next week.

Chiefs co-captain Aaron Cruden is set to make his return to rugby having been side-lined with a significant knee injury since April 2015.

His co-captain Sam Cane will also don the Chiefs strip for the first time in 2016, almost four months following his last playing appearance for the All Blacks against South Africa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-final.

Prior to the 5:05pm trial match between the Chiefs and the Blues, the next generation of promising rugby talent will be on display in the curtain raiser game between the University of Waikato Chiefs U20s team and the Blues U20s side.

The curtain raiser kicks off at 2:00pm. Tickets to the Chiefs vs Blues preseason trial at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe are available from ticketdirect.co.nz or from 10am at Gate B of ECOLight Stadium.

Chiefs and Counties Manukau season members will be granted free entry to the games.

Mitchell Karpik, Maama Vaipulu, Nepo Laulala, Toni Pulu, Dominic Bird, Augustine Pulu, Andrew Horrell, Hika Elliot, Michael Leitch and Stephen Donald were all not considered for selection.

Chiefs

1 Pauliasi Manu 2 Rhys Marshall 3 Siate Tokolahi 4 Michael Allardice 5 Brodie Retallick 6 Taleni Seu 7 Sam Cane (co-captain) 8 Tom Sanders 9 Brad Weber 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain) 11 Sam McNicol 12 Charlie Ngatai 13 Seta Tamanivalu 14 Glen Fisiiahi 15 Damian McKenzie

Replacements : 16 Nathan Harris 17 Mitchell Graham 18 Hiroshi Yamashita 19 Johan Bardoul 20 Tevita Koloamatangi 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow 22 Chase Tiatia 23 Anton Lienert-Brown 24 Latu Vaeno 25 Lalakai Foketi 26 James Tucker 28 James Lowe 29 Shaun Stevenson 30 Atu Moli