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)

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Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
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Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
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Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
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Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
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Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
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Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
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Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 37 | 17
Bath v Harlequins 22 | 12
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Sharks 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0