Blues back to Eden Park fortress

Blues back to Eden Park fortress

The Blues return to their fortress of Eden Park for the first time this season to host the Brumbies on Friday night.

Their spiritual home was out of action as a host venue for the Cricket World Cup, with the Blues winning five of seven games there last year.
There will be blazer games (20 matches) for Patrick Tuipulotu and Ofa Tu’ungafasi with Sam Prattley off the bench.
All Black Steven Luatua will come off the bench for what would be his 44th game for the Blues after announcing he will be staying on with the club for a further two years, with the Blues opting for two open side loose forwards to start against the speedy Brumbies loosies.
The only players not considered for selection were halfback Bryn Hall on long term recovery while both fullback Lolagi Visinia and All Black prop Tony Woodcock have a further week off recovering from head knocks.
Also Jimmy Cowan is on leave as his partner is expecting the birth of their second child.
The team is:
  1. Ofa Tu’ungafasi
  2. James Parsons
  3. Charlie Faumuina
  4. Josh Bekhuis
  5. Patrick Tuipulotu
  6. Luke Braid
  7. Brendon O’Connor
  8. Jerome Kaino (c)
  9. Jamison Gibson-Park
  10. Dan Bowden
  11. Melani Nanai
  12. George Moala
  13. Pita Ahki
  14. Frank Halai
  15. Charles Piutau
Reserves:
 
16. Keven Mealamu
17. Sam Prattley
18. Angus Ta’avao
19. Hayden Triggs
20. Steven Luatua
21. Jamie Booth
22. Ihaia West
23. Francis Saili