Luatua ruled out of Brumbies match

Thu, 23 May 2013 07:45
Large steven luatua3 Large brendon o connor blues char Large steven luatua blues charges

Impressive young flank Steven Luatua has been ruled out of Saturday's must-win match against the Brumbies at Eden Park.

Impressive young flank Steven Luatua has been ruled out of Saturday's must-win match against the Brumbies at Eden Park.

The 22-year-old, who was one of eight Blues players called into the All Blacks wider training group earlier this week, has failed to overcome a neck injury he suffered during last week's loss to the Crusaders.

"He banged up his neck last week and it hasn't freed up," Blues head coach John Kirwan said.

"We felt that he'd be playing at 80 per cent rather than a hundred and we'd like to put the athlete first. I made the decision and he's not very happy about it but I've taken him out of the team.

"He's got no real damage, he's just had a pretty bad knock to the neck and shoulder and will be available for us next week."

As a result Brendon O'Connor is promoted from the bench to start at blindside flank.

Tighthead prop Angus Ta'avao tweaked his knee during training on Tuesday and has been bracketed with Sam Prattley.

A call will be made on Ta'avao's availability later in the week.

The only change to the backline comes at inside centre, where Francis Saili starts ahead of Jackson Willison.

"Jackson and Francis have been our form guys," Kirwan said.

"I think Francis brought a real excitement to the game last week when he came on. We need him to step up with his vision and his verbals helping Noaksey out, looking up and making the right calls but if he can bring his excitement and footwork then we'll be really happy."

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

Date: Saturday, May 25
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
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
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
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
Pool NZ
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
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28