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Matenga makes starting debut for Blues against Chiefs

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The Blues have named their team to play the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday and included lock Hoani Matenga to make his starting debut.

Matenga has played for Otago and Wellington in the ITM Cup and has made several performances off the bench this season already.

The lock comes into the starting line up replacing Patrick Tuipulotu, who will be out for two weeks with a fracture of his hand.

Matenga, a former guitarist with the Kiwi band Six60, has also had experience playing in France and Japan.

Prop Sam Prattley gets his first start of the season, coming in for Nic Mayhew, who is out for two to three weeks with a knee injury suffered in his debut against the Jaguares last week.

The rest of the starting team is unchanged from that which beat the Jaguares at North Harbour Stadium last weekend.

Blues

Sam Prattley, James Parsons (c), Charlie Faumuina, Hoani Matenga, Josh Bekhuis, Joe Edwards, Blake Gibson, Steven Luatua; Bryn Hall, Ihaia West, Tevita Li, Piers Francis, Rene Ranger, Rieko Ioane, Lolagi Visinia.

Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, Namatahi Waa, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Akira Ioane, Kara Pryor; Billy Guyton, Matt McGahan, George Moala.

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