Blues to unleash All Black on Sharks

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 08:33
Large piri weepu   rene ranger bl Large charles piutau blues try Large francis saili blues Large kevin mealamu blues media

Blues coach John Kirwan has named all his All Blacks in the 26-man squad to travel to South Africa on Friday.

Blues coach John Kirwan has named all his All Blacks in the 26-man squad to travel to South Africa on Friday.

The Blues depart for the Republic on Friday, playing the Sharks in Durban next Saturday, June 29, before heading to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs on July 6.

Current All Blacks squad members Charles Piutau, Francis Saili, Steven Luatua, Piri Weepu, Keven Mealamu and Rene Ranger will only join the team early next week - following the third Test against France in New Plymouth on Saturday - but are expected to be unleashed on the Sharks.

The squad features 10 players who have not toured South Africa before - including wider training group player Lolagi Visinia, who played on the wing for the New Zealand Under-20 team in their loss to England in the IRB World Junior Championship semifinal in France on Tuesday.

Visinia will fly from France, following the third-lace play-off match against South Africa U20 on Sunday, to join the team.

Kirwan said he was pleased with the make-up of his squad.

"I think the biggest factor for us was waiting on the guys' game time from the All Blacks and making sure they're OK to travel," he said.

"We've gone for two scrumhalves and three hookers, so we've taken a bit of a risk there," the Blues coach said.

"We're going to bring Lolagi Visinia over from the NZ U20s because he covers two or three positions so that made it a little bit hard on someone like Marty McKenzie, but when you're touring it's just a matter of making sure you get the mix right."

Kirwan said it was crucial to kick-start the tour with a victory over the Sharks to stay in touch with the top six.

"The second week really means nothing yet. The Sharks game is a must-win for us, it's like our final and that's because if we win that then we stay completely in touch with the top six.

"The Cheetahs will then become a different kettle of fish so we just need to get back on the horse and play a good game of footy."

Blues squad: Tim Perry, Sam Prattley, Angus Ta'avao, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Quentin MacDonald, Keven Mealamu, James Parsons, Anthony Boric, Culum Retallick, Ali Williams, Luke Braid, Steven Luatua, Peter Saili, Brendon O'Connor, Kane Barrett, Jamison Gibson-Park, Piri Weepu, , Baden Kerr, Chris Noakes, Francis Saili, Jackson Willison, Rene Ranger, , George Moala, Frank Halai, Charles Piutau, Lolagi Visinia.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 03 December 2016
England v Australia 14h30 Twickenham
Gloucester v Bristol 15h00 Kingsholm
Bath v Saracens 15h00 Recreation Ground
Connacht v Treviso 15h00 Sportsground
Zebre v Scarlets 15h05 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints 17h00 Welford Road
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 17h15 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 19h35 RDS Arena
Sun, 04 December 2016
Worcester Warriors v Wasps 15h00 Sixways
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 15h00 Kingston Park
Fri, 09 December 2016
Northampton Saints v Leinster 19h45 Franklin's Gardens
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9