Eden Park sold-out for Blues vs Hurricanes matchup

By Micah Thompson

The Blues will host the Hurricanes tomorrow at a sold-out Eden Park for the highly anticipated matchup. 

Watching the game tomorrow, Hurricanes fans will be at a bit of a loss seeing their respected number 10 wearing the blue shirt, especially as it's against the Hurricanes on the debut weekend of Super Rugby Aotearoa. That's right, to anyone who didn't already know, Beauden Barrett is now playing for the Blues, and on top of that, he will be playing fullback not wearing the number 10 jersey. While the buzz earlier this week was around Dan Carter returning to the number 10 position, for this game the jersey will be filled by Otere Black.

Blues Head Coach Leon Mcdonald has had the toughest decision in his career selecting the team for this opening match saying the competition for positions has been intense. Mcdonald decided that Barrett won't be the only former Hurricane to take the field, with halfback Finlay Christie coming off the bench.  

Despite Barrett being the focus of headlines, the Hurricanes also have a powerhouse up their sleeve. After spending over 8 months on the sideline Ardie Savea will get his long-awaited return on the field. Head Coach Jason Holland is looking at giving Savea at least 20-30 minutes, being flexible on where he plays coming off the bench. He will also be accompanied by fellow All Black teammate Vaea Fifita. 

Full Teams:

Blues: Beauden Barrett, Mark Telea, Rieko Ioane, TJ Faiane, Caleb Clarke, Otere Black, Sam Nock; Hoskins Sotutu, Blake Gibson, Tom Robinson, Josh Goodhue, Patrick Tuipulotu (capt), Ofa Tu’ungafasi, James Parsons, Alex Hodgman.

Reserves: Kurt Eklund, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Marcel Renata, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Dalton Papalii, Finlay Christie, Harry Plummer, Matt Duffie.

Hurricanes: Chase Tiatia, Wes Goosen, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Jackson Garden-Bachop, TJ Perenara (co-captain), Gareth Evans, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Scott Scrafton, James Blackwell, Tyrel Lomax, Dane Coles (co-captain), Fraser Armstrong.

Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Tevita Mafileo, Alex Fidow, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Vaea Fifita, Ardie Savea, Jamie Booth, Billy Proctor.