Blues name unchanged XV for game against Highlanders

Blues are at the top of Super Rugby Aotearoa table
Blues are at the top of Super Rugby Aotearoa table
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Blues head coach Leon MacDonald has named an unchanged line-up for the upcoming Super Rugby Aotearoa clash against Highlanders to be played in Auckland on Saturday.

The Blues are already at the top of the betting company table with wins over Hurricanes and Chiefs in the opening two rounds and another win at Eden Park will consolidate their position.

The only change in the matchday23 squad comes in the bench where Joe Marchant comes in for Matt Duffie.

“The whole squad are training hard, and our current starters are getting tested at every training session, which is what we want,” said MacDonald.

“This group of 23 continue to do the business. They are developing well to the style of game we want to play and adapting positively to the new rule emphasis, which will lead to a more exciting and fluid game.

“It is the last game before our first bye which will give us the opportunity to reset for the next block of games.

“It is also Joe’s final hit-out with the team. He has been a popular and outstanding member of the team and we will miss him. He has contributed well on and off the field and we are confident he will return as a more complete footballer for the experience when he returns to Harlequins.”

Blues starting XV: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman

Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Marcel Renata, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Joe Marchant

Super Rugby 2019 Points Table