Blues must play themselves into the team : Nucifora



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Coaches David Nucifora and Greg Cooper are hoping that the Blues pre season warm up games against the Reds and Highlanders will give them some better ideas on who their best and therefore starting 22 will be.

They have the core of the Air New Zealand Cup-winning Auckland side to call upon and they also have the support of an in form Hawke’s Bay side to call on.

With all that talent running around no-one can be assured of his place.

“We’ve got a lot of positions that are up for grabs, so our training and trials will be really important,” Nucifora told Sportal.

This could be a crucial year for All Blacks centre Isaia Toeava with Aaron Mauger and Luke McAlister leaving for foreign shores.

Nucifora says that Toeava had played well at centre in last year’s Super 14 semi-final against the Sharks.

“He did a good job there before he got injured, so 12 [the position number] is one thing that we will consider for him,” said Nucifora.

“We’ve got options – that’s the thing with this team. So many boys play different positions and we’ve got to find the right combinations,” he said.

Nucifora also pointed out that he had a number of options to consider from in the mid-field, with Anthony Tuitavake being a consistant performer in 2007 and Benson Stanley and Jamie Helleur who is working his way back from injury.

Other injury concerns – flank Daniel Braid, scrum-half Danny Lee and fullback George Pisi – are also progressing well, having joined the Blues in the best possible physical condition.

“The majority have been here for years now so have got a better understanding of what is required,” Nucifora explained.

“We are improving each year with the way we manage ourselves.”


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