Blues coach Vern Cotter makes 8 changes to starting XV for Highlanders clash

Blues coach Vern Cotter makes 8 changes to starting XV for Highlanders clash

By Mosese Raqio
Thursday 29/02/2024
Source: Super Rugby Aotearoa

Blues’ Head Coach Vern Cotter has made 8 changes to his starting XV that will take on the Highlanders in their Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific Super Round clash tomorrow.

The changes include the return of veteran All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi and former All Blacks loosie Akira Ioane, and rejigged the bench while he’s at it, with a quartet dropping down and hooker Soane Vikena coming in for his first outing.

Cotter says there will be rotations all the way through and at the moment there’s management of players, so they are taking that into account.

He says they are going to need everybody in this squad, so it’s important they rotate.

The former Fiji Water Flying Fijians’ Head Coach says he has come out of some big seasons before and knows the importance of getting to the end of the season reasonably fresh.

The Blues squad to take on the Highlanders include:

Zarn Sullivan, Mark Tele’a, AJ Lam, Bryce Heem, Caleb Clarke, Stephen Perofeta, Taufa Funaki; Hoskins Sotutu, Dalton Papali’i (capt), Akira Ioane, Sam Darry, Laghlan McWhannell, Marcel Renata, Ricky Riccitelli, Ofa Tu’ungafasi.

Reserves: Soane Vikena, Joshua Fusitu’a, Angus Ta’avao, Josh Beehre, Adrian Choat, Sam Nock, Harry Plummer, Cole Forbes.

The Blues will take on the Highlanders at 7pm tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua will take on Moana Pasifika at 6pm this Saturday.

In other matches this week, the Rebels will play the Force at 9.10pm tomorrow, the Crusaders will play the Waratahs at 8.35pm Saturday, the Chiefs will play the Brumbies at 3pm Sunday, and the Hurricanes will play the Reds at 5.30pm Sunday.

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