Blues and Chiefs name sides for Saturday's match

Author
Radio Sport ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Thursday, 11 April 2019, 6:35PM
Karl Tu'inukuafe and Ola Tu'ungafasi are in the starting line-up. (Photo / Getty)

Blues will continue to lean on Ma'a Nonu during the injury-enforced absence of their other midfield veteran.

Sonny Bill Williams will have knee surgery tomorrow and is expected to be out for up to six weeks.

Coach Leon MacDonald says they're fortunate to have the depth of experience the duo bring.

He says Nonu has stepped up and is thriving with the extra minutes and game time.

The Blues backline is unchanged to face the Chiefs on Saturday in Super Rugby but Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Ofa TuungafasI and Dalton Papali'i come into the pack.

The Chiefs backline is also unchanged, though co-captain Brodie Retallick and loosehead prop Angus Ta'avao return, while Taleni Seu comes in at number eight moving Tyler Ardron to lock.

It is a chance for Ta'avao to reinforce his versatility value to the All Blacks selectors.

With Aiden Ross out with a minor neck injury, Ta'avao will switch to the loosehead side of the scrum to face the Blues in Saturday's Super Rugby match.

More known as a tighthead, Ta'avao is one of seven props named to attend the All Blacks foundation day on Monday.

Chiefs assistant coach Nick White says Ta'avao is likely to get an extended run in Hamilton.

He says it really helps Ta'avao being in the mix for the All Blacks later in the year.

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