The moment of truth arrives in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman and there will be a new champion in the final match to be played at Eden Park, this Saturday Blues and Highlanders, from 4 am live on ESPN 3.
The coach of Blues Leon MacDonald makes only one change to the starting lineup compared to last week’s win over Western Force, with the return of Akira Ioane instead of Tom Robinson, who suffered a concussion in that game.
“We have done the hard work in this competition,” said MacDonald. “We learned from the first competition and this time we have been more consistent. Our defense has been strong, we have been smarter and we have had more discipline. The Highlanders have been outstanding all season. “
For its part, Highlanders will be making no changes and it will be a very special match for hooker Ash Dixon, who will make his 100th appearance. for the 2015 Super Rugby champions. It will be a great week for the front row, as he was also named captain of the Maori All Blacks days ago.
Blues: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 4 Gerard Cowley -Tuioti, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman
Alternates: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Josh Goodhue, 20 Blake Gibson, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 AJ Lam
Highlanders: 15 Josh Ioane, 14 Patelesio Tomkinson, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (cc), 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Hugh Renton, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (cc), 1 Ethan de Groot
Alternates: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 James Lentjes, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Sam Gilbert, 23 Teariki Ben-Nicholas
Stadium: Eden Park
Referee: Mike Fraser
Attendees: Ben O’Keeffe, Paul Williams
TMO: Brendon Pickerill