Blues place faith in the future

Blues place faith in the future

While the medical room at the Blues resembles a scene from MASH, the coaches have an eye on the future with some young hopes given their start in the team to meet the Crusaders on Saturday.

Three squad players – Will Lloyd and Joe Edwards and Matt Vaega – get their first starts while replacement Airi Hunt gains his first Super Rugby cap in Saturday’s game at Eden Park.
Replacement players, brought in to cover the large number of injured player – Nic Mayhew, Sione Mafileo, Chris Vui and Matt McGahan – are listed in the reserves.
The Blues have 12 players unavailable for selection with injury.
NOTES:
James Parsons takes on the captaincy again in his 49th Super Rugby cap for the Blues.
First starts to Will Lloyd (lock), Joe Edwards (flanker) and Matt Vaega (fullback), with newcomer Airi Hunt to debut at No 8.
The battle of the KFC College Curtain Raiser series is the clash between neighbours Otahuhu College and De La Salle College starting at 5.05pm.
The team is:
  1. Sam Prattley
  2. James Parsons (c)
  3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi
  4. Will Lloyd
  5. Josh Bekhuis
  6. Joe Edwards
  7. Brendon O’Connor
  8. Airi Hunt
  9. Jimmy Cowan
  10. Ihaia West
  11. Melani Nanai
  12. George Moala
  13. Hamish Northcott
  14. Ben Lam
  15. Matt Vaega

Reserves:†

†16. Keven Mealamu
†17. Nic Mayhew
†18. Sione Mafileo
†19. Hayden Triggs†
†20. Chris Vui
†21. Jamison Gibson-Park
†22. Simon Hickey
†23. Matt McGahan