Rugby: Nonu returns for Blues

Ma'a Nonu. Photo / Greg Bowker
Ma'a Nonu. Photo / Greg Bowker

Ma'a Nonu will play his first game in five weeks when he returns for the Blues in their Super Rugby match against the Western Force at Eden Park on Saturday night.

The second five-eighths was included in the All Blacks squad for the three-test series against Ireland but sat out the matches to freshen him up after nearly two years of continuous rugby.

Nonu is one of four changes to the Blues side beaten 41-34 by the Chiefs on June 2. The Blues' locking crisis - Anthony Boric, Ali Williams and Filo Paulo are all injured - has seen Andrew Van der Heijden called into the squad and he will start in the No 5 jersey.

Fullback Charles Piutau will play his first Super Rugby game and Piri Weepu will start at halfback in place of Alby Mathewson.

Tom McCartney will make his 50th Blues appearance off the bench.

Blues:
Charles Piutau, Lachie Munro, Francis Saili, Ma'a Nonu, Rene Ranger, Michael Hobbs, Piri Weepu, Luke Braid, Daniel Braid, Steven Luatua, Andrew Van der Heijden, Liaki Moli, Tevita Mailau, Keven Mealamu (c), Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Tom McCartney, Angus Ta'avao, Chris Lowrey, Peter Saili, Alby Mathewson, Orene Ai'i, Hadleigh Parkes.

- APNZ

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