All the action from the Super Rugby clash between the Jaguares and the Blues.

The Blues, staring at a three-loss start to their season as they prepare to play the Jaguares in Buenos Aires, are blocking out the external pressures and looking within for solutions including their backline's potential to cut teams apart.

With Ma'a Nonu replacing Sonny Bill Williams in his preferred second-five position as expected, and impressive rookie wing Taniela Tele'a in his first start after scoring a try last weekend, the Blues are determined to focus on what they can do well rather than what the opposition's strengths are, a mistake they feel they made last weekend against the Sharks in Durban.

The heat was undoubtedly a big factor in the Blues' flat start to their 26-7 defeat at Kings Park after they impressed for long periods against the Crusaders at Eden Park in round one, but there is a feeling among the squad in Buenos Aires that they gave the Sharks too much respect early on.


There is no doubt that should they hold their own up front they are more than capable of troubling the Jaguares out wide. In left wing Rieko Ioane and fullback Melani Nanai they have two of the more dangerous backs in the competition and there is likely to be a sense of excitement building that they will create problems for a side with a win and a loss this season.

"The mindset for us is exactly that; it's all about us," veteran hooker James Parsons said. "We maybe looked at the Sharks too deeply and got away from our game. As [coach] Tana [Umaga] alluded to, it's on us to be confident and stick to our game plan."

Assistant coach Umaga said of the challenge at the José Amalfitani stadium: "It's no different from the previous two weeks. As we all know we're taking on another formidable forward pack and our boys are looking forward to the challenge. We also understand we want to play our game as well… we want to get our game going this week."

Nonu replacing Williams in the midfield is no surprise as head coach Leon MacDonald last week signalled that he now regarded the pair as specialist No12s, despite Nonu playing 80 minutes at centre in round one.

The 36-year-old Nonu wasn't named in the match-day squad against the Sharks, but All Black Williams has a place on the bench and he will hope for some good minutes in the second half as he attempts to find some form after an injury-plagued 2018.

"We stated from the start we'll be managing those two, with Sonny coming back and taking a couple of knocks early on," Umaga said. "And with Ma'a, we've said we'll manage those two and swap them in and out as we get through the season. It's an opportunity for Ma'a and that was the plan all along."

In other changes to the team, Augustine Pulu gets his first start of the season at halfback and prop Alex Hodgman starts ahead of Karl Tu'inukuafe.

"Obviously we weren't happy with our performance and we want to rectify that," Umaga said of last week's effort. "The boys have had some good discussions about their attitudes and how they want to play. We need to make sure we stay true to that."


For Parsons, his job will be to attempt to contain the Jaguares' inspirational captain Agustin Creevy in the set pieces and elsewhere as the Blues seek a good start for the first time this season.

"We need to dent them up front and go through them and then play on top of them and get in behind their defensive line. That's been our focus," Parsons said.

"Once we get in behind them, that's when we thrive and can be at our best."

Blues team to play the Jaguares at José Amalfitani stadium on Sunday, kick-off 10.40am NZT is:

15 Melani Nanai, 14 Tanielu Tele'a, 13 TJ Faiane, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Otere Black, 9 Augustine Pulu; 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman.

Reserves: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Matt Matich, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Sonny Bill Williams.