Preview: Blues v Lions
Saturday, March 7, 2015 James Mortimer Getty Images
H2H: Played 7, Blues 6, Lions 1
Last match: Lions 39 Blues 36, 15.03.14 in Johannesburg
Squad update: Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has made two changes to his starting team for Saturday's clash with the Blues in Albany, the South Africans first match of a four game tour.
Corne Fourie gets a start at loosehead prop, while Ross Cronje comes in at halfback.
For the Blues, record breaking hooker Mealamu has been named in the starting line-up which will be his 163rd appearance in Investec Super Rugby. This will make him the all-time leader in Super Rugby, a mark he currently shares with retired former Reds, Force and Wallabies lock Nathan Sharpe.
It is the first game of the season for Mealamu who made his debut in 2000, who has been named alongside fellow All Black Charlie Faumuina and Ofa Tu’ungafasi, who gets his first start of the season.
Steven Luatua is back to his regular starting spot in the loose forwards with captain Jerome Kaino and Luke Braid. Last year’s Blues Development player of the year, Melani Nanai has earned a second start after a useful debut in South Africa as a replacement, to be joined by Frank Halai, who makes his first appearance of the season following rehabilitation from an off-season shoulder operation.
Form: It has been a tough start to the season for the Blues who are sitting at 0-3, after having to face the two-time champions to open their campaign before back-to-back trips to the Republic.
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