Ranger in for changed Blues

Thu, 04 Jul 2013 12:30
Large rene ranger face Large piri weepu   rene ranger bl Large rene ranger blues

The inclusion of in-form All Black Rene Ranger is one of four changes to the Blues' starting XV to face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The inclusion of in-form All Black Rene Ranger is one of four changes to the Blues' starting XV to face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday - a clash vital to both sides' Super Rugby play-off hopes.

Ranger is named on the left wing in place of George Moala, who drops to the bench.

Blues head coach John Kirwan was forced to replace All Black scrumhalf Piri Weepu and flyhalf Chris Noakes - both back in New Zealand nursing injuries.

Jamison Gibson-Park and Baden Kerr step into the playmaking roles at No.9 and No.10 respectively.

In the final change to the starting XV Sam Prattley starts ahead of Tim Perry at loosehead prop.

Utility back Marty McKenzie and scrumhalf Wayne Ngaluafe flew over from New Zealand earlier this week and will provide cover on the bench.

The bench also features the return of All Black hooker Keven Mealamu, who sat out the encounter against the Sharks because of calf tightness.

The Blues go into the match in Bloemfontein eighth on the ladder, two points behind the Cheetahs, who occupy the sixth and last play-off berth.

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (captain), 4 Anthony Boric, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Wayne Ngaluafe, 21 Marty McKenzie, 22 George Moala.

Date: Saturday, July 6
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off:  14.50 (12.50 GMT; 12.50, Sunday, July 7 NZ time)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse (South Africa), Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)

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Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
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