Rugby: Blues hit by injuries again

Rene Ranger stretches during an Aucland Blues Super Rugby training session at Unitec. Photo / Getty Images.
Rene Ranger stretches during an Aucland Blues Super Rugby training session at Unitec. Photo / Getty Images.

As if the Blues haven't got enough to worry about, they have been hit by injury again ahead of their match against the Lions at Eden Park on Friday night.

On the day coach Pat Lam talked about facing up to moving from the Blues next season following the announcement that his job will be advertised, wings Rene Ranger and George Moala were ruled out with respective rib and groin injuries, and loose forward Chris Lowrey with concussion.

The match against the Lions, who are one place above them on the table and also have only one victory this season, is one the Blues will have targeted but John Mitchell's men will be no pushovers.

They showed in their loss to the Chiefs in Pukekohe on Saturday that they have a forward pack to reckon with and a goalkicker in Elton Jantjies to be wary of.

Prop Tony Woodcock and hooker Keven Mealamu have failed to recover from calf injuries which will make the Blues' job of doubling their win tally for the season that much harder.

Gareth Anscombe is back at first-five after being dropped for last week's loss to the Hurricanes, with Michael Hobbs at second-five. Ma'a Nonu has been named a centre.

The Blues team to play the Lions at Eden Park on Friday night, kick-off 7.35pm: Hadleigh Parkes, David Raikuna, Ma'a Nonu, Michael Hobbs, Benson Stanley, Gareth Anscombe, Piri Weepu, Peter Saili, Daniel Braid, Luke Braid (c), Ali Williams, Liaki Moli, Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau. Reserves: James Parsons, Angus Ta'avao, Filo Paulo, Steven Luatua, Alby Mathewson, Lachie Munro, Sherwin Stowers.

- APNZ

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