Blues rest skipper on bench against Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues rest skipper on bench against Reds

23/04/2009 01:01:42 PM Comments (0)

Captain Keven Mealamu has been rested on the bench among three changes to the Blues' starting team for the Super 14 clash with the Queensland Reds in Auckland on Saturday.

Tom McCartney gets his first Super 14 starting role for the fifth-placed Blues when he takes over as hooker from All Blacks rake Mealamu against the out-of-contention Reds.

Veteran flanker Justin Collins comes back from a hamstring injury to the blindside spot and will also assume the captaincy duties in Mealamu's absence.

Collins' inclusion see a reshuffle in the loose forward trio, with No.8 Jerome Kaino, who has a couple of niggling injuries, going into a bracket on the bench.

The other change is five-eighth Tasesa Lavea's return from a hamstring problem to replace Jimmy Gopperth, who is listed in the reserves.

The make-up of the bench features another comeback from injury, with All Blacks lock Ali Williams having recovered sufficiently from an Achilles complaint.

Missing from the 22 is winger Rene Ranger, who has been stood down pending a police inquiry and a New Zealand Rugby Union misconduct hearing into an incident last Saturday.

Ranger, 22, is alleged to have been involved in a physical altercation and the NZRU hearing is expected to be held next week after the completion of the police inquiry.

One of Ranger's teammates, halfback Taniela Moa, was similarly stood down after his involvement in a bottle-throwing incident at an Auckland rugby club.

Moa missed one match before being picked for the win against the Highlanders last week.

Blues: Paul Williams, Joe Rokocoko, Anthony Tuitavake, Isaia Toeava, Rudi Wulf, Tasesa Lavea, Taniela Moa, Chris Lowrey, Josh Blackie, Justin Collins (capt), Anthony Boric, Kurtis Haiu, Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney, Tony Woodcock. Reserves - Keven Mealamu, Tevita Mailau, Ali Williams, Jerome Kaino/Peter Saili, Grayson Hart, Jimmy Gopperth, Michael Hobbs.

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