Blues name Bowden to debut against Waratahs

The Blues have named their team to playt the Waratahs this weekend in Sydney with former Highlanders and Crusaders flyhalf Dan Bowden making his debut.

Bowden joined the Blues after playing in the UK and Japan over the last two years but has been kept on the sidelines with a foot injury.

The former Northland and Auckland representative has played 27 Super Rugby caps but Saturday is his first for the Blues after he, wife Hayley and baby son returned to their hometown of Auckland this year.

Ihaia West, who has kicked 56 points in five games, gets a break after playing virtually every minute this year.

Hayden Triggs gets the starting job with All Black Patrick Tuipuloto at lock, with Josh Bekhuis spelled with injury, while Brendon O’Connor gets the start at No 7 with Luke Braid on the bench.

There are several players returning to the squad for the first time after early season injuries including George Moala who has his first start at centre, with former All Black Sevens player Pita Ahki and lock Culum Retallick on the bench.

All Black Charles Piutau will move fullback after playing two games at centre.

Players not considered because of injury include Bryn Hall, who will be out for approximately eight weeks after fracturing his foot in club rugby last week, and Bekhuis, who is expected to be available for selection next week.

Blues

Tony Woodcock, James Parsons, Charlie Faumuina, Hayden Triggs, Patrick Tuipulotu, Steven Luatua, Brendon O’Connor, Jerome Kaino (c), Jimmy Cowan, Dan Bowden, Melani Nanai, Francis Saili, George Moala, Frank Halai
Charles Piutau

Replacements : Keven Mealamu, Ofa Tu’ungafasi/Sam Prattley, Angus Ta’avao, Culum Retallick, Luke Braid, Jamison Gibson-Park, Simon Hickey, Pita Ahki

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