The Ioan brothers excluded the Blues as a party named after the Brumbies

The Ioan brothers excluded the Blues as a party named after the Brumbies

The Blues face one of the toughest tests as they travel to Canberra to face the Brumbies on Saturday in the penultimate match of the DHL Super Rugby Pacific competition.

Coach Leon MacDonald has named a predictably strong team led by an experienced pack to stand up to Australia’s team leader. While the win in Canberra will secure the Blues first place in the competition, MacDonald does not think about it at all.

“We took things one match after another and we didn’t overtake. This is one of the absolutely key tests for us this season and we are ready for a real dog match, “said MacDonald.

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“The Brumbies have only lost twice a year, and we know one of them last weekend that they will come with everything they have on Saturday.”

“We are absolutely looking forward to the confrontation. They have strength throughout the park and we will have to match them. The team has prepared well and now has to show both individually and as a team, and show real discipline, because the Brumbies will take full tax if they get the opportunity in our territory.

The Blues have power ahead with the All Blacks Ofa Tuungafasi and Alex Hodgman as support, and two other international top players who stand out from the bench in Karl Tu’inukuafe and Nepo Laulala.

They strengthened their line-up with the return of Sam Darry, who is a partner of the well-formed and hard-working James Tucker, who played for the Brumbies last season.

Exciting rookie Anton Segner comes to the blind with injuries to Akira Ioane and Tom Robinson to form a strong back with Captain Dalton Papali and another All Black Hoskins Sotutu.

The back line has not changed, except for the injured Riek Ioan, with Bryce Heem, so influential this season, taking his seventh start.

The competition’s top scorer, Stephen Perofeta, who has 99 points per season, starts again as the extreme defender and will continue in an exciting combination with half-defender Finlay Christie and top five Beauden Barrett.

The match starts at 21:45 NZ time, election day will be a busy day in the Australian capital.

The Blues team that will play against the Brumbies in Canberra:

Alex Hodgman (51 matches Blues)
2. Kurt Eklund (34)
3. Ofa Tuungafasi (117)
4. James Tucker (9)
5. Sam Darry (14)
6. Anton Segner (5)
7. Dalton Papalii © (54)
8. Hoskins Sotutu (33)
9. Finlay Christie (27)
10. Beauden Barrett (14)
11. Caleb Clark (35)
12. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (8)
13. Bryce Heem (17)
14. Mark Telea (35)
15. Stephen Perofeta (41)


16. Ricky Riccitelli (8)
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe (38)
18. Nepo Laulala (21)
19. Luke Romano (10)
20. Adrian Choat (16)
21. Sam Nock (48)
22. Tanielu Tele’a (20)
23. Zarn Sullivan (15)

Unanswered players: Harry Plummer, Josh Goodhue, Rieko Ioane, Akira Ioane, Tom Robinson.

-Press release / Blues


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