Faumuina, Tuipuloto to start in South Africa

Faumuina, Tuipuloto to start in South Africa

All Blacks Charlie Faumuina and Patrick Tuipulotu will make their first starts of the season for the Blues against the Cheetahs at Bloemfontein on Saturday morning (6.10am NZT).

Faumuina has come off the bench in both games this season while Tuipulotu came on for his season debut in the second half of the match last weekend against the Stormers in Capetown.
Tuipulotu will start in place of Hayden Triggs who received a one match suspension following his red card against the Stormers.
The Blues will start open side loose forwards Brendon O’Connor and Luke Braid, who were both outstanding last weekend, while Steven Luatua, who was replaced after receiving a shoulder injury, will come off the bench as cover for both loose forward and lock.
There’s been a reshuffle in the backline with Hamish Northcott moving in to second five, Charles Piutau from fullback to centre, Melani Nanai, part of the wider training group, making his debut on the right wing and Lolagi Visinia returning to fullback.
Added to the bench is replacement Simon Hickey, coming in for Dan Bowden, who has returned home after re-aggravating his foot injury.
The match will feature the 100th game for the Blues for inspirational captain Jerome Kaino.
The team is:
  1. Tony Woodcock
  2. James Parsons
  3. Charlie Faumuina
  4. Josh Bekhuis
  5. Patrick Tuipulotu
  6. Luke Braid
  7. Brendon O’Connor
  8. Jerome Kaino
  9. Jimmy Cowan
  10. Ihaia West
  11. Tevita Li
  12. Hamish Northcott
  13. Charles Piutau
  14. Melani Nanai
  15. Lolagi Visinia
Reserves:
  1. Matt Moulds
  2. Ofa Tu’ungafasi
  3. Angus Ta’avao
  4. Steven Luatua
  5. Akira Ioane
  6. Jamison Gibson-Park
  7. Simon Hickey
  8. Francis Saili