Baby Blues into the frontline

Thu, 31 Jan 2013 08:50
Large luke braid blues Large john kirwan   graham henry2 Large quentin macdonald   brendon Large john kirwan   graham henry Large frank halai  blues

The Blues' young newcomers will get the chance to test themselves against a powerful Reds outfit.

The Blues' young newcomers will get the chance to test themselves against a powerful Reds outfit when the two sides meet for their first pre-season trial of the year in Toowoomba on Saturday.

While the Blues will take a 27-man squad featuring 18 uncapped players across the Tasman, they'll come up against a Reds side boasting 11 capped Wallabies from 2012.

Blues head coach John Kirwan said it would be a great challenge for his young team and he was looking forward to seeing them express themselves.

"They're all ready to go, they've been training really hard and now it's time to play," Kirwan said.

"We've left some of the more experienced guys at home, we know what they can do so it's a chance for the young boys to have a go."

Luke Braid will captain the side in the absence of Ali Williams, who alongside fellow All Blacks Piri Weepu and Charlie Faumuina, will not travel to Queensland.

Anthony Boric, Rene Ranger, Charles Piutau, Culum Retallick and George Moala will also remain at home.

The starting XV features nine players who have yet to pull on a Blues jersey including the entire backline, while nine reserves are also new to the franchise.

Blues: 15 Marty McKenzie, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Frank Halai, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid (captain), 6 Kane Barrett, 5 Ronald Raaymakers, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney.
Replacements - from: Albert Nikoro, Lolagi Visinia, Pita Ahki, Francis Saili, Jamison Gibson-Park, Joe Edwards, Sean Polwart, Brendon O'Connor, Steven Luatua, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Tim Perry, Quentin MacDonald.

Date: Saturday, February 2
Venue: Toowoomba Sports Ground, Toowoomba
Kick-off: 19.00 (09.00 GMT)
Referee: James Leckie (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

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Sat, 29 July 2017
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Sun, 30 July 2017
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Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
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Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
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Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28