Super Rugby

Lam makes one change

Lam makes one change

BLUES COACH Pat Lam has surprisingly made just one change to his team for its match against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.

It was thought Lam would wield the axe, particularly after the likes of Tom McCartney and David Raikuna failed to perform during the opening-round loss to the Crusaders, and promote halfback Piri Weepu to the run-on side.

Those two have kept their places in the starting XV, with the only change coming at tighthead prop, where Tevita Mailau replaces the injured Charlie Faumuina (knee).

Lam admits the loss of the latter is a big blow, but is confident Mailau is up to plugging the gap.

“Charlie is our number one tighthead at this stage and on the back of Tony Woodcock not being available, it’s a big hit for us,” he says.

“Tevita’s been with us for a while and he’s an experienced campaigner. He sits in the wings waiting for his chance and he works hard and so he’ll get his opportunity on Friday and I’m confident he’ll do a good job.”

Lam's only other changes come on the bench.

Interestingly, he has included young first five Gareth Anscombe in the reserves alongside Weepu.

Michael Hobbs hangs on to the No 10 jersey for now.

The other change to the bench sees Angus Ta'avao come in as prop cover. Like Anscombe, he is set for his first appearance at this level.

Lam has resisted the temptation to get Ma'a Nonu involved, with the All Blacks midfielder, just back from a stint of Japanese club rugby, set to be introduced on the looming trip to South Africa.

With both teams coming off losses in round one, Lam knows this game shapes as a crucial one.

“The key is we front –match the Chiefs intensity and better it, because these are two teams who lost their opening round, two teams who are desperate for a win and two teams that will really go for it, so I’m expecting a great clash,” he says.

Blues: Isaia Toeava, David Raikuna, Rene Ranger, Benson Stanley, Rudi Wulf, Michael Hobbs, Alby Mathewson; Jerome Kaino, Daniel Braid, Chris Lowrey, Ali Williams, Anthony Boric, Tevita Mailau, Keven Mealamu (c), Tom McCartney
Reserves: Pauliasi Manu, Angus Ta'avao, Brad Mika, Luke Braid, Piri Weepu, Gareth Anscombe, Sherwin Stowers

« Back to Articles

Upcoming Matches

2014 Super Rugby fixtures

2014 Super Rugby fixtures

All the fixtures you need to plan your viewing pleasure!

Fixtures & Results

Super Rugby
Heartland Championship
Rugby World Cup 2011


Mark Calverley Super Rugby - Not going to plan for NZ teams. Should we worry?

Not all our own way for NZ teams

By Mark Calverley

Mark Calverley Benji - Should he stay or should he go?

Pressure is on Benji, but shouldn't we remember SBW went to France (Toulon) for 2 years to learn the game.

By Mark Calverley

Mark Calverley Concussion

With all of the news around concussion do you think there should be safety measures in place for players to ensure they don't play on after a head know? How and who should police that?

By Mark Calverley

Mark Calverley Club Rugby - How to get the MOJO back

With the start of club rugby upon us, how can we maintain the value of the clubs in player pathways and community spirit.

By Mark Calverley