Blues

Parsons to lead Blues against Hurricanes

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The Blues have named their team to play the Hurricanes at Eden Park on
Saturday and All Black James Parsons becomes the third captain this season.

Parsons will lead an injury-depleted team against the table-topping Hurricanes
on Saturday after Steven Luatua was ruled out for the season last week.

The North Harbour skipper takes the captain’s armband after injuries
to previous leaders Jerome Kaino and Luatua.

Parsons, called into the All Blacks team during their northern tour late last
year, has played strongly this year, appearing in 11 games along with his two
weeks off on All Blacks leave.

He forms a new front row with Sam Prattley, receiving his first start of the
year, and Ofa Tu’ungafasi, who will play his 27th game for the Blues.

New Zealand Under-20s representatives Blake Gibson and the inform Akira Ioane
will pair up in the loose forwards, with the outstanding Brendon O’Connor,
before the pair joins the New Zealand team that leaves next week to contest
the world cup in Italy.

The backline that performed in the win over the Bulls last week remains unchanged
with teenager Matt Vaega from the Wider Training Group and fellow North Harbour
replacement Nick Mayhew will be looking for their Super Rugby debuts off the
bench.

Blues

1. Sam Prattley , 2. James Parsons (c) , 3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi , 4. Culum
Retallick , 5. Josh Bekhuis , 6. Brendon O’Connor , 7. Blake Gibson ,
8. Akira Ioane , 9. . Jamison Gibson-Park , 10 .Ihaia West , 11 .Melani Nanai
, 12. George Moala , 13. Francis Saili , 14. Ben Lam , 15.Lolagi Visinia

Replacements : 16. Keven Mealamu , 17. Angus Ta’avao , 18. Nic Mayhew
, 19. Will Lloyd/Hayden Triggs , 20. Joe Edwards , 21. Jimmy Cowan , 22. Simon
Hickey , 23. Matt Vaega

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