The Blues Development team has made six changes to the starting line-up to face the Chiefs Development team tomorrow at North Harbour Stadium.
Six players who were involved in the 50-12 hammering of the Crusader Knights have been promoted to the Blues team for Sunday’s Super Rugby match against the Bulls.
Coach Bevan Cadwallader said the changes are par for course in a development programme such as this.
“It is encouraging to see the players that really stepped up last weekend have been rewarded with an opportunity in the top side,” said Cadwallader.
The menacing loose forward trio of William Whetton, Sean Polwart and Joe Edwards remain intact, while Tevita Li, Malakai Fekitoa and Lolagi Visinia will all be expected to wreak havoc in the backline again.
Cadwallader said the introduction of a number of new players to the squad helps to add to the enthusiasm.
“For a few of the guys it’s their first crack at this level so it’s an exciting time for them.”
Whetton’s younger brother Jack comes onto the bench alongside development squad members Sam Prattley, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Calvary Fonoti and Melani Vai.
For the visiting Chiefs Development team it is their first hit out of their campaign but Cadwallader expects them to be anything but rusty.
“Without doubt there will be a big physical challenge from the Chiefs – we’ll have to fight fire with fire.
“They are a very experienced team and are sure to provide a stern challenge for us,” said Cadwallader.
But if last week’s performance is anything to go by, the Blues will be up for it, with Cadwallader asking more of his team this time round.
“While our intensity was fantastic we will need to be technically better and improve on our accuracy.”
Blues Development v Chiefs Development
North Harbour Stadium 2
The Blues development team is:
1. Matt Wallace
2. Gafatasi Su’a
3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi
4. Anthony Boric
5. Patrick Tuipopotu
6. William Whetton
7. Sean Polwart
8. Joe Edwards ©
9. Bryn Hall
10. Cody Rei
11. Tevita Li
12. Jackson Willison
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Aula SIlipa
15. Lolagi Visinia
16. Nathan Vella
17. Sam Prattley
18. Jack Whetton
19. Jake Heenan
20. Wayne Ngaluafe
21. Pita Ahki
22. Calvary Fonoti
23. Greg Pleasants-Tate
24. Melani Vai