Rugby: Williams, Nonu to start for Blues

Ma'a Nonu has returned to the Blues starting XV for this weekend's match against the Chiefs. Photo / Getty Images.
Ma'a Nonu has returned to the Blues starting XV for this weekend's match against the Chiefs. Photo / Getty Images.

Ali Williams and Ma'a Nonu are back in the Blues starting 15 to face the Chiefs in Auckland on Saturday night while Piri Weepu remains on the bench.

The three All Blacks all came off the bench in last weekend's 27-20 loss to the Highlanders and a combination of form and injuries has made coach Pat Lam ring the changes.

In total, there are six changes to the side, with Michael Hobbs replacing the injured Gareth Anscombe at first five while Rudi Wulf is at fullback, for what will be his 50th game.

Lam said he thought Weepu did well coming off the bench last week - and despite the All Black selectors wanting him to have more game - was happy having him fulfil that role again.

"It's about making sure we get the best team to try and win the game," said Lam.

"Anscombe is out for the year now with his high ankle sprain so we are short of a back and are happy to move Nonu back in,"

"Ma'a has been superb right through - we had an opportunity to rest him last week and we took it - but this week it will be a battle he will look forward to."

Lam said he thought his forwards did well against the Highlanders and were all looking forward to another tough battle with the Chiefs.

Blues: Tony Woodcock, James Parsons, Tevita Mailau, Liaki Moli, Ali Williams, Steven Luatua, Daniel Braid, Luke Braid (c), Alby Mathewson, Michael Hobbs, Rene Ranger, Ma'a Nonu, Francis Saili, Lachie Munro, Rudi Wulf.

Reserves: Tom McCartney, Angus Ta'avao, Filo Paulo, Peter Saili, Piri Weepu, Hadleigh Parkes, David Raikuna.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 26 Dec 2014 15:39:14 Processing Time: 252ms