Kirwan names Blues squad for SA Super Rugby tour

Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan has named a 26-man squad that will travel to South Africa for matches against the Sharks and Cheetahs.

The Blues squad will leave for South Africa this Friday in the afternoon as they play the Sharks in Durban on June the 29th before heading to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs on July the 6th.

Current All Blacks squad members Charles Piutau, Francis Saili, Steven Luatua, Piri Weepu, Keven Mealamu and Rene Ranger will join the team early next week following the third Test match against France in New Plymouth on Saturday.

The squad features 10 players who have not travelled to South Africa before, including Wider Training Group player Lolagi Visinia, who played for the New Zealand Under-20s this morning in their loss to England.

Visinia will fly from France following the playoff match against South Africa to join the team.

Kirwan said he was pleased with the make-up of his squad.

“I think the biggest factor for us was waiting on the guys from the All Blacks and making sure they’re all OK to travel,” he said.

“We’ve gone for two halfbacks and three hookers so we’ve taken a bit of a risk there. We’re going to bring Lolagi Visinia over from the NZ 20s because he covers two or three positions so that made it a little bit hard on someone like Marty McKenzie, but when you’re touring it’s just a matter of making sure you get the mix right.”

Kirwan said it was crucial to kick-start the tour with a victory over the Sharks to stay in touch with the top six.

“The second week really means nothing yet. The Sharks game is a must-win for us, it’s like our final and that’s because if we win that then we stay completely in touch with the top six.

“The Cheetahs will then become a different kettle of fish so we just need to get back on the horse and play a good game of footy.”

Blues squad :


Tim Perry,Sam Prattley,Angus Ta’avao,Ofa Tu’ungafasi


Quentin MacDonald,Keven Mealamu,James Parsons


Anthony Boric,Culum Retallick,Ali Williams

Loose forwards

Luke Braid,Steven Luatua,Peter Saili,Brendon O’Connor,Kane Barrett


Jamison Gibson-Park,Piri Weepu,

First five-eighths

Baden Kerr,Chris Noakes


Francis Saili,Jackson Willison,Rene Ranger

Outside backs

George Moala,Frank Halai,Charles Piutau,Lolagi Visinia

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