Live Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa updates: Blues v Hurricanes at Eden Park
All the action between the Blues and Hurricanes.
The Blues have a new captain for their Super Rugby Aotearoa clash against the Hurricanes.
Loose forward Tom Robinson will take the armband in his first start for the season, with regular skipper Patrick Tuipulotu having failed to recover from a shoulder injury suffered in the Blues’ loss to the Chiefs last weekend.
Partially as a result of that disappointing defeat, Blues head coach Leon MacDonald has made seven changes to the starting lineup for the clash at Eden Park on Saturday night.
TJ Faiane starts in the midfield for the first time this season after an injury-delayed start to his campaign, while young lock Sam Darry gets a second start after an impressive Super Rugby debut against the Highlanders, replacing Tuipulotu.
Sam Nock starts at halfback while the All Blacks duo of Ofa Tuungafasi and Karl Tu’inukuafe come in as the starting props.
A potential new cap off the bench comes in the form of winger AJ Lam, after a strong domestic season with Auckland.
“The performance overall against the Chiefs was disappointing, especially at the set piece, our lack of accuracy and discipline. The players who made an impact off the bench or have been working hard on the training field have earned their chance,” said MacDonald.
“When we got some go-forward ball we showed how dangerous we can be. But we need to be more accurate at the set piece and continue to improve in terms of our discipline.
“We started the season well but lacked precision over the last two games and last week’s game was disappointing. That has led to some changes this week as players who have done the mahi at training get their opportunity.”
Blues team to face the Hurricanes:
Stephen Perofeta, Mark Telea, Rieko Ioane, TJ Faiane, Caleb Clarke, Otere Black, Sam Nock, Hoskins Sotutu, Dalton Papalii, Tom Robinson (c), Sam Darry, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Ofa Tuungafasi, Luteru Tolai, Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Reserves: Leni Apisai, Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Josh Goodhue, Akira Ioane, Jonathan Ruru, Harry Plummer, AJ Lam.
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