Super Rugby

Blues unchanged for Eden Park match against Brumbies



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Blues head coach Tana Umaga has named an unchanged Super Rugby side to play the Brumbies at Eden Park on Friday in the penultimate round.

Umaga has retained the side that impressed with flare on attack and resilience on defence against the Hurricanes last week.

All of the stars of last week’s showdown against the Hurricanes will return led by the front row of new All Black Ofa Tu’ungafasi, captain James Parsons and Sam Prattley and the inspirational Jerome Kaino, who bagged two tries last week.

Key forwards Steven Luatua and Josh Bekhius, who went off with injuries last week, are slated to start although the big Southland player will need to come through training and is bracketed with Scott Scrafton.

Likewise Piers Francis and Japan international Male Sa’u, both also injured out of the game in the second half last week after strong first spell performances, have been selected to start. Sa’u, like Bekhuis, will need to come through a full training load this week and is bracketed with Matt Vaega.

The Blues will look for another strong forward display to provide opportunities for their backs with Melani Nanai again to start at fullback after his eye-catching display last week. The young wing/fullback led all of the Super stars in terms of his carries (21), offloads (7) and clean breaks (5) and was second in terms of metres run (151).

All Blacks Charlie Faumuina and George Moala have made progress with their recovery but not sufficiently to be considered for selection this week.

Replacement hooker Quentin MacDonald will earn his blazer for his 20th game for the Blues if he makes an appearance.


Sam Prattley, James Parsons ( C ), Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Patrick Tuipulotu, Josh Bekhuis or Scott Scrafton, Jerome Kaino, Kara Pryor, Steven Luatua; Bryn Hall, Ihaia West, Tevita Li, Piers Francis, Male Sa’u or Matt Vaega, Matt Duffie, Melani Nanai.

Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, Nic Mayhew, Sione Mafileo, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Blake Gibson, Billy Guyton, Matt Vaega or Michael Little, Lolagi Visinia.

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