Blues axe another misbehaving player

Wed, 24 Apr 2013 08:24
Large george moala blues v highla Large francis saili blues2 Large john kirwan blues looks

George Moala has become the second player this week to be axed by the Blues because of his off-field behaviour.

George Moala has become the second player this week to be axed by the Blues because of his off-field behaviour.

Blues head coach John Kirwan confirmed on Wednesday that Moala was not considered for selection due to breaking "internal team protocols".

This followed Monday's revelation that Blues midfielder Francis Saili was dropped over a driving offence.

"He didn't share some of the things that he needed to share with us," Kirwan said about the decision to also leave Moala out for their crucial Round 11 Super Rugby encounter with the Reds in Brisbane on Friday.

"A big part of our team culture is honesty so he won't be travelling with us.

"We've got protocols - they know the rules and we're just enforcing them," Kirwan added.

Apart from axing his misbehaving players Kirwan made just one change to the starting XV for Friday.

Rene Ranger returns to his regular position at outside centre, as Francis Saili is relegated to the bench.

Albert Nikoro will make his first start for the Blues on the wing.

"Albert [Nikoro] has been training all week and he's excited about the opportunity so it's a great moment for him," Kirwan said.

"He's come off the bench for us, he's one of our good, young guys and it's important that we show we've got a squad that can step up."

Counties Manukau lock Ronald Raaymakers has been named on the bench in place of Anthony Boric who is suffering from a neck injury.

Kirwan labelled the Reds the best team in the Super Rugby competition and said it was due to their multi-faceted game plan.

"They're very good right across the park," he said.

"I always think championship sides have the ability to play four game plans. They've got a good kicking game, an expansive game, they can play a tight game and they can play with real intelligence mixing it up.

"They've also got two world class players in Will Genia and Quade Cooper that when they're on their game are very hard to control. So that mix really makes them lethal. For us it's about shutting them down right across the park and we won't be able to relax for one second."

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Albert Nikoro, 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 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Ronald Raaymakers, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Francis Saili.

Date: Friday, April 26
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.40 AEST (21.40 NZ time; 09.40 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
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Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
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Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
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Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
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London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
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Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
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Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
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Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
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Blues 8 2 0 6 12
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Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14