Ranger back on the wing

Thu, 11 Apr 2013 08:12
Large piri weepu   rene ranger bl Large john kirwan blues 630 Large rene ranger blues Large john kirwan blues looks Large rene ranger looks 630

Blues head coach John Kirwan has made two changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes at Eden Park.

Blues head coach John Kirwan has made two changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes at Eden Park.

With George Moala suspended for a week for a dangerous high tackle on Highlanders wing Buxton Popoali'i, Rene Ranger shifts out to cover the left wing as Francis Saili is promoted from the bench to start at centre.

"It was a pretty easy decision to make," Kirwan said of Ranger's positional switch.

"He's done it for the team. We felt the way we finished last week was pretty special and I think it's only going to help his career. He's been our best centre and he will be our centre in the future but we need him to fill that spot for the week while George is away.

"He's settled into the position really well and he gives us some more power across the paddock."

The only other change to the starting XV comes at loosehead prop where Tom McCartney replaces Tim Perry.

"We're expecting Tom to give us a bit of an injection," Kirwan said.

"He was a bit annoyed that he wasn't playing last week so we've got some real competition going between Tim and Tom and we're expecting Tom to stand up and have a big one."

Kirwan said a win against the Hurricanes on Saturday was crucial heading into the bye next week.

"It's must-win every week. I keep hearing that from my children on Mondays saying ‘you've got to win this week dad' and that's just the nature of this competition," he said.

"When you talk about the conference this is a big one. The Hurricanes have improved, I'd like to think we've improved and they're one point ahead of us on the table so she's all on."

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney.
Replacements: 16 even Mealamu, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Albert Nikoro.

Date: Saturday, April 13
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 27 November 2015
Leinster v Ulster 19h35 RDS Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Edinburgh v Dragons 19h35 BT Murrayfield
Northampton Saints v Gloucester 19h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 28 November 2015
Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 15h00 Sandy Park
Ospreys v Cardiff Blues 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Saracens v Worcester Warriors 15h15 Twickenham
Munster v Connacht 17h15 Thomond Park
London Irish v Wasps 17h30 Twickenham
Sun, 29 November 2015
Scarlets v Zebre 14h30 Parc y Scarlets
Leicester Tigers v Bath 15h00 Welford Road
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26