Blues v Stormers - Super Rugby match preview

Last Updated: 02/05/13 5:31am

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Sky Bet

New Zealand hooker Keven Mealamu returns to the Blues line-up for Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Stormers.

Mealamu has started the last three games on the bench however the 102-Test veteran replaces the injured James Parsons in No 2 jersey.

Sir John Kirwan has also tweaked his back division with Francis Saili coming into the centres and Rene Ranger shuffling across to the wing.

Lolagi Visinia is poised to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench, while he will be joined by fit-again Anthony Boric.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has made three changes to his starting XV for the trip to North Harbour Stadium.

Following the 18-16 win over, Coetzee has called up Frans Malherbe, Rynhardt Elstadt and Siya Kolisi.

There are a further three changes to the bench with Pat Cilliers, Eben Etzebeth and Elton Jantjies providing cover.

Etzebeth will make his first appearance of the season after recovering from injury, while Brok Harris and Nic Groom drop out of the match-day squad.

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (c), 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tom McCartney.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Lolagi Visinia.

Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Eben Etzebeth, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Damian de Allende.

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