Saturday 11 June 5:05 pm AEST – Blues v Brumbies at Eden Park, ad-free, live and on-demand on Stan Sport and Nine Network
The Brumbies will also face a formidable bench, with Luke Romano, Karl Tu’inukuafe and Zarn Sullivan all capable of stepping up in a tight game. Throw in a crowd that might nudge 30,000, and the Blues hold the advantage.
The Blues’ sign of respect for Brumbies is bad news for Australian hopes when the two teams meet on Saturday.
The inclusion of prop Nepo Laulala to shore up the Blues’ scrum is a nod to the Brumbies’ strength in this area, as is the recall for second-rower Josh Goodhue.
BLUES (1-15): Alex Hodgman, Kurt Eklund, Nepo Laulala, Josh Goodhue, Tom Robinson, Akira Ioane, Adrian Choat, Hoskins Sotutu, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett (c), Mark Telea, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Rieko Ioane, AJ Lam, Stephen Perofeta
RESERVES: Soane Vikena, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Luke Romano, James Tucker, Sam Nock, Tamati Tua, Zarn Sullivan
BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Folau Fainga’a, Allan Alaalatoa, Darcy Swain, Caderyn Neville, Tom Hooper, Pete Samu, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Noah Lolesio, Andy Muirhead, Irae Simone, Ollie Sapsford, Tom Wright, Tom Banks
RESERVES: Lachlan Lonergan, Scott Sio, Sefo Kautai, Nick Frost, Luke Reimer, Jahrome Brown, Ryan Lonergan, Hudson Creighton