The Blues team to take on the Lions this weekend has been announced, with a number of changes coming through as a result of injury. The backline will see a massive shuffle as coach Pat Lam fills the gaps left by 11 injured players.
The backline will see two flyhalves running next to each other as Gareth Anscombe will retain his 10 jersey, but Michael Hobbs coming into midfield, playing at inside centre, forming a new centre combination with Ma’a Nonu, who has shifted one along to outside centre. Regular outside centre Benson Stanley will take up a spot on the wing, where he joins David Raikuna and Hadleigh Parkes in the back three. Piri Weepu has retained his starting jersey ahead of Alby Mathewson.
The tight five is missing two key players in Tony Woodcock and Keven Mealamu, both struggling with injuries, with Luke Braid continuing as captain alongside his brother Daniel in the flanks.
Blues: 1. Tevita Mailau 2. Tom McCartney 3. Charlie Faumuina 4. Liaki Moli 5. Ali Williams 6. Daniel Braid 7. Luke Braid (c) 8. Peter Saili 9. Piri Weepu 10. Gareth Anscombe 11. Benson Stanley 12. Michael Hobbs 13. Ma ‘a Nonu 14. David Raikuna 15. Hadleigh Parkes (WTG)
Replacements : 16 James Parsons (WTG) 17 Angus Ta ‘avao (WTG) 18 Filo Paulo 19 Steven Luatua (WTG) 20 Alby Mathewson 21 Lachie Munro 22 Sherwin StowersTweet