Blues hope to have Mealamu back for Lions

Auckland Super Rugby side the Blues hope to have All Black hooker Keven Mealamu available for selection against the Lions after had to withdraw from the match against the Bulls.

Mealamu was originally named to play for the Bulls on Saturday but then had to withdraw from the squad and was replaced by James Parsons after he complained of a tight calf.

“He has a history of calf issues so there was no point in risking Kevvy,” coach Sir John Kirwan told Fairfax NZ News.

“We should know by Monday or Tuesday if he’ll be ready to go against the Lions … we are hopeful.”

Kirwan said after the 38-22 loss that they had not suffered any further serious injuries against the Bulls despite it being a hugely physical encounter at Loftus Versfeld.

The Blues coach was hugely frustrated with his team’s performance against the Bulls as they gave away easy points.

“We just can’t afford to keep doing that,” he bemoaned.

“And we can’t keep giving away penalties like we are.”

“We gave away 21 points … that’s unacceptable,” Kirwan said.

Captain Luke Braid was one of the better Blues players in the match said that he was disappointed with the loss but hoped the youngsters would learn from the experience.

“Several players hadn’t played in South Africa before… they know what it’s about now,” Braid said.

Kirwan expects another physical clash this weekend against the Lions in Johannesburg which is at a similar altitude as Pretoria.

“You know what you are getting when you play the African sides. They have brutal forwards and good defence.”

“The Bulls showed that and the Lions will be no different.”

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