Munro wins battle for Blues wing berth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Munro wins battle for Blues wing berth

01/07/2011 06:51:53 PM Comments (0)

Lachie Munro has been given the nod to fill the Blues' contentious left wing berth for Saturday night's Super Rugby semi-final against Queensland in Brisbane.

Munro and Rene Ranger had been bracketed when the squad was originally named before the Blues arrived in Brisbane on Thursday.

But head coach Pat Lam on Friday opted to start Munro, who becomes the side's first-choice goalkicker as well.

Lam chose the more conservative option although 2010 All Black Ranger's explosive game-breaking potential is sure to be introduced at some stage.

Munro's selection takes some heat off Luke McAlister and Stephen Brett, who drop back in the goalkicking pecking order.

Both Munro and Ranger have recovered sufficiently from injury.

Ranger had been unavailable since suffering a hamstring strain against the Crusaders on June 11 while Munro has struggled with a hip injury caused when he was slid into late by Phil Waugh after scoring against the Waratahs in last Friday's elimination qualifier in Auckland.

Lam also clarified the composition of his bench with James King preferred ahead of Mat Luamanu as the back-up lock and Sherwin Stowers covers the outside backs ahead of Winston Stanley.

Although history suggests the Reds will progress to host next weekend's final - the past 18 Super finals matches played between teams from different countries have been won by the home side - Lam was excited ahead of the Blues' first play-off experience since they lost to the Sharks at Durban in the 2007 semi-finals.

"It's great to be here. Both teams like to use the ball. That's why 50,000 are going to come to the game. It's the reason both teams are here - they've had an attacking attitude."

Blues squad: Jared Payne, Joe Rokocoko, Benson Stanley, Luke McAlister, Lachie Munro, Stephen Brett, Alby Mathewson, Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Jerome Kaino, Ali Williams, Chris Lowrey, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu (captain), Charlie Faumuina. Reserves: Tevita Mailau, James King, Daniel Braid, Chris Smylie, Rene Ranger, Sherwin Stowers.

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