Blues name Faumuina in young side for Bulls

The Blues have named their Super Rugby team to play the Bulls at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday with Charlie Faumuina returning to the starting line up.

Faumuina comes back into the front row to form an All Black front row in a team that has a youthful look about it after the Blues were hit with eight players being ruled out.

Jerome Kaino, Luke Braid, Bryn Hall, Charles Piutau, Hayden Triggs, Hamish Northcott, Patrick Tuipulotu and Dan Bowden were all unavailable for selection.

With an eye to the future there’s some young talent included with the inform Akira Ioane to start again after this week being named in the New Zealand Under-20 team for the world Cup along with Blues Teammates Blake Gibson, Tevita Li and apprentice Isa Tu’ungafasi.

While Keven Mealamu adds real experience and firepower on the bench, there are some young guns looking for their Super Rugby debuts in lock Will Lloyd, halfback Jamie Booth and midfield back Matt Vaega.

Blues

1. Tony Woodcock , 2. James Parsons , 3. Charlie Faumuina , 4. Josh Bekhuis , 5. Culum Retallick , 6. Akira Ioane , 7. Brendon O’Connor , 8. Steven Luatua (c) , 9. Jamison Gibson-Park , 10. Ihaia West , 11. Melani Nanai , 12. George Moala , 13. Francis Saili , 14. Ben Lam , 15. Lolagi Visinia

Replacements: , 16. Keven Mealamu , 17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi , 18. Sam Prattley , 19. Will Lloyd , 20. Blake Gibson , 21. Jimmy Cowan/Jamie Booth , 22. Simon Hickey , 23. Matt Vaega

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