All Blacks Rotate for Blues

All Blacks Rotate for Blues

The All Blacks front row, who all came off the bench last week, will start for the Blues against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.

Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu and Charlie Faumuina will be the starting front row this week, boasting 260 Test caps and 383 Super Rugby games collectively under their belts.
Mealamu will also assume the captaincy with Jerome Kaino given time out in the All Blacks rotation ñ after playing in eight of the Blues’ nine games – along with James Parsons and Charles Piutau, who get their first break.
Steven Luatua returns to play at No 8 with teenager Akira Ioane given a second game after his impressive debut last week, while Jimmy Cowan returns to start at halfback and Lolagi Visinia at fullback.
Players not considered because of injury are Patrick Tuipulotu, out with a leg injury, and Pita Ahki with a hamstring injury, both likely to be out for two weeks.
Northland hookers Matt Moulds comes on to the bench looking for his debut.
The Blues team is:
  1. Tony Woodcock
  2. Keven Mealamu (c)
  3. Charlie Faumuina
  4. Josh Bekhuis
  5. Hayden Triggs
  6. Akira Ioane
  7. Brendon O’Connor
  8. Steven Luatua
  9. Jimmy Cowan
  10. Dan Bowden
  11. Melani Nanai
  12. George Moala
  13. Francis Saili
  14. Frank Halai
  15. Lolagi Visinia
Reserves:
16. Matt Moulds
17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi
18. Angus Ta’avao
19. Culum Retallick
20. Blake Gibson
21. Jamison Gibson-Park
22. Ihaia West
23. Tevita Li