Rugby: Injured Ioane ruled out for Blues

Akira Ioane will miss the Blues' pre-season game against the Chiefs. Photo / Getty
Akira Ioane will miss the Blues' pre-season game against the Chiefs. Photo / Getty

Akira Ioane has been ruled out of the Blues' pre-season match against the Chiefs at Pukekohe on Friday due to a hamstring strain.

Ioane's brother, Rieko, and Ben Lam will play after their return from New Zealand sevens duties, but strike weapon Ioane will have the weekend off, although assistant coach Paul Feeney expects the big loose forward to be available for the team's first competition match against the Highlanders at Eden Park.

The trio have arrived back at the Blues after two triumphant sevens tournaments in Wellington and Sydney, with all three playing big parts.

Rieko, 18, has yet to play a Super Rugby match, and will spend time at centre and wing against the Chiefs, with Lam due to play on the wing.

Skipper Jerome Kaino said the trio had returned "seamlessly".

"They're a huge part of our team and also Ben Lam, so it's great to have them on board and I'm excited to see what they can do on the pitch," he said.

Blues starting XV v Chiefs

15. Lolagi Visinia
14. Melani Nanai
13. Rene Ranger
12. George Moala
11. Tevita Li
10. Ihaia West
9. Bryn Hall
8. Steven Luatua
7. Blake Gibson
6. Jerome Kaino (c)
5. Josh Bekhuis
4. Hoani Matenga
3. Sione Mafileo
2. Quentin MacDonald
1. Ofa Tu'ungafasi

Reserves: James Parsons, Sam Prattley, Namatahi Waa, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Scrafton, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Patrick Tuipulotu, Kara Pryor, Joe Edwards, Billy Guyton, Matt McGahan, Male Sa'u, Rieko Ioane, Ben Lam, Matt Duffie.

- NZ Herald

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