Moala, Nanai to start

Moala, Nanai to start

Midfielder George Moala will play his 50th game for the Blues in their Investec Super Rugby clash against the Kings at Port Elizabeth on Sunday (NZ time).

The 25-year-old will be the most capped Blues player in the backline to take on the Kings in the first of the Blues’ three-match tour that includes the high-flying Lions in Johannesburg and the Force in Perth.

They return for a much anticipated clash against the Crusaders at Eden Park before the June international break.

Melani Nanai, who had three starts early in the season, returns to start on the right wing in place of Rieko Ioane, who has joined the All Blacks Sevens.

The other changes come in the front row with Ofa Tu’ungafasi , who has played in every game this year, gets a start after four games coming off the bench, swapping with Charlie Faumuina.

Northland captain Matt Moulds will be looking for his first game of the season, named on the bench as replacement hooker, after two caps last year.

It is the first time that the Blues have played the Kings, who played in 2013 before being relegated, and have returned to the expanded competition this year, based at Nelson Mandela Stadium in port Elizabeth.

 

The Blues team for the match (kick off 5:05pm local time, 3.05am Sunday NZT) is:

Sam Prattley, James Parsons ©, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Patrick Tuipulotu, Josh Bekhuis, Jerome Kaino, Tanerau Latimer, Steven Luatua; Bryn Hall, Ihaia West, Tevita Li, Piers Francis, George Moala, Melani Nanai, Lolagi Visinia.

Reserves: Matt Moulds, Nic Mayhew, Charlie Faumuina, Hoani Matenga, Kara Pryor, Billy Guyton, Matt McGahan, Male Sa’u.