9 Mar 2016

Sweeping changes for the Blues

4:05 pm on 9 March 2016

Blues coach Tana Umaga has made nine changes to his starting side for their Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes on Friday.

The Blues coach Tana Umaga.

The Blues coach Tana Umaga. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Following the Blues 28-13 loss to the Crusaders last week Umaga has opted to move Steven Luatua into lock, pushing Patrick Tuipulotu to the bench, while All Black prop Charlie Faumuina will make his first start of the year in the number three jersey.

Other changes to the forward pack include Akira Ioane at number eight and James Parsons will start at hooker over Quentin MacDonald.

Bryn Hall and Ihaia West have reclaimed the number nine and number 10 jersey while league convert Matt Duffie has been left out of the side completely after starting at fullback against the Crusaders.

Lolagi Visinia will start at fullback after recovering from injury while Rene Ranger has been moved to the right wing to make way for Male Sa'u at centre.

Tana Umaga said he always planned on making a number of changes for the match against the Hurricanes and believes this side is his best chance of a win.

Blues team to face the Hurricanes on at Eden Park on March 11 is:

Ofa Tu'ungafasi

James Parsons

Charlie Faumuina

Steven Luatua

Josh Bekhuis

Jerome Kaino ©

Blake Gibson

Akira Ioane

Bryn Hall

Ihaia West

Tevita Li

George Moala

Male Sa'u

Rene Ranger

Lolagi Visinia.


Quentin MacDonald

Nic Mayhew

Sione Mafileo

Patrick Tuipulotu

Kara Pryor

Billy Guyton

Matt McGahan

Melani Nanai.