Rugby: Rokocoko dropped from Blues side

Blues coach Pat Lam talks to the team during a training session. Photo / Getty Images
Blues coach Pat Lam talks to the team during a training session. Photo / Getty Images

Winger Joe Rokocoko has been dropped in one of several changes to the Blues' side named today to face the Hurricanes in a Super rugby match in Auckland on Saturday night.

Coach Pat Lam has made six personnel changes, two of them forced by injury, and three other positional switches to his starting 15, after the Blues' disappointing draw with the Western Force last weekend.

"For us to be a team that performs well consistently each week, individuals need to perform at a high level in every game," he said.

"Some didn't and they're not playing this weekend."

Players coming back in are prop John Afoa, lock Kurtis Haiu, flanker Luke Braid, No 8 Peter Saili, halfback Alby Matthewson and first-five eighth Stephen Brett.

Haui replaces Ali Williams, who is out with a hamstring injury, while Braid comes in for brother Daniel, who is suffering from a sore neck.

Saili makes his return after a week out recovering from a head knock.

Brett's inclusion means Luke McAlister shifts to second five-eighth and Benson Stanley to the wing, while Rene Ranger switches from left to right wing to occupy the spot vacated by Rokocoko.

The Blues:
Isaia Toeava, Rene Ranger, Jared Payne, Luke McAlister, Benson Stanley, Stephen Brett, Alby Mathewson, Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Jerome Kaino, Kurtis Haiu, Anthony Boric, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu (captain), Tony Woodcock.

Reserves: Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau, Filo Paulo, Matt Luamanu, Chris Smylie, Lachie Munro, Sherwin Stowers.

- NZPA

- NZ Herald

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