Francis gets pivotal role for Blues

Thu, 04 May 2017 08:08
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Blues have named a virtually unchanged team for the second leg of their Australian tour against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.

Flyhalf Piers Francis has been cleared of the wrist injury that ruled him out last weekend's Super Rugby match against the Brumbies on the day of the game. Francis, who has been selected to play for England in Argentina next month, returns to the No.10 jersey with Bryn Gatland to come off the bench.

The rest of the side remains unchanged from the line-up that managed a bonus-point win over the Brumbies in Canberra.

The team is facing the second of a challenging six-match run that sees them home against the Cheetahs next Friday ahead of a one-off trek against the Stormers in South Africa

The Blues then return to meet the Chiefs before travelling to Samoa to take on the Reds.

Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Leighton Price, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Melani Nanai.

Date: Saturday, May 6
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.45 (21.45 NZ time; 09.45 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Will Houston (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sharks v Waratahs 13h05 Kings Park
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 15h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Gloucester v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Kingsholm
Bulls v Lions 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scarlets v Leinster 15h15 Parc y Scarlets
Zebre v Ospreys 17h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Cheetahs v Connacht 17h35 Bloemfontein
Jaguares v Hurricanes 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 1 0 0 4
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 1
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 5
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Hurricanes 1 0 0 1 1
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Chiefs 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 2 2 0 0 9
Stormers 2 1 0 1 5
Bulls 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Jaguares 2 0 0 2 0