5 Jun 2017

Blues name team to face British and Irish Lions

2:06 pm on 5 June 2017

Sonny Bill Williams is expected to return from injury against the Lions on Wednesday, while a rookie will get his maiden start for the encounter.

Williams was named in the team to play the Lions at Eden Park this afternoon.

First five-eighth Stephen Perofeta made his Super Rugby debut against the Reds in Apia last weekend, coming off the bench in the second half.

Blues coach Tana Umaga has decided to give the 20-year-old his first start in the Lions showdown.

Williams has been bracketed with TJ Faiane at No 12 but is expected to take his place in the starting team.

Williams is battling a knee injury which saw him sit out Friday's win over the Reds.

Charlie Faumuina also returns from illness but Jerome Kaino has been held back for the All Blacks hit-out against Samoa.

Blues: Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, George Moala, Sonny Bill Williams/TJ Faiane, Rieko Ioane, Stephen Perofeta, Augustine Pulu; Steven Luatua, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Scott Scrafton, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Charlie Faumuina, James Parson, Ofa Tu'ungafasi.

Reserves: Hame Faiva, Alex Hodgman, Sione Mafileo, Patrick Tuipulotu, Kara Pryor, Sam Nock, Ihaia West, TJ Faiane/Melani Nanai.