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Mealamu back to captain Blues

Keven Mealamu will captain the Blues this weekend

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Article Published: Wednesday 4 July 2012






The Blues have announced their team to take on the Western Force, in Auckland on Saturday, with captain Keven Mealamu chosen to lead his side for the first time in three months after finally recovering from injury.

Mealamu has been sidelined since round eight with a recurring calf injury, but is back to full fitness and seems determined to help his struggling side finish their season on a high.

There is also a call-up for lock Andrew Van der Heijden, who takes over from the injured Ali Williams.

In the backs, Piri Weepu has been selected to start at scrumhalf ahead of Alby Mathewson, while fellow All Black Ma’a Nonu comes back refreshed after a rare five week break during the international Test window.

It is not all good news, however, as the Blues’ injury woes continue with outside backs Rudi Wulf and David Raikuna becoming the latest players to join an ever-growing Blues casualty list.

Coach Pat Lam has subsequently been forced to draft in three players from outside his squad to provide cover.

Former Blues star Orene Ai’i returns to the Auckland side as he looks set to make his first appearance in Blues colours since 2004.

New Zealand sevens player Charles Piutau will make his Super Rugby debut and start at fullback, with less than one week’s training under his belt.

Blues:

1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Keven Mealamu, 3. Tevita Mailau, 4. Liaki Moli, 5. Andrew Van der Heijden, 6. Steven Luatua, 7. Daniel Braid, 8. Luke Braid, 9. Piri Weepu, 10. Michael Hobbs, 11. Rene Ranger, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 13. Francis Saili, 14. Lachie Munro, 15. Charles Piutau.

Replacements: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Angus Ta’avao, 18. Chris Lowrey, 19. Peter Saili, 20. Alby Mathewson, 21. Orene Ai’i, 22. Hadleigh Parkes.

 
 
 
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