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Blues make two forced changes

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/04/2016

Patrick Tuipulotu © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Patrick Tuipulotu Injuries to lock Patrick TuipulotuĀ and prop Nic Mayhew means the Blues have made two forced changes to their starting side to face Super Rugby competition leaders the Chiefs.

Tuipulotu (hand) and Mayhew (knee) picked up their injuries in the Blues' hard-fought 24-16 win over the Jaguares in Albany last weekend.

Hoani Matenga and Sam Prattley, who both came off the bench against the Argentines, have been included in the run-on side for the match against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday night.

With regular skipper Jerome Kaino still out with a shoulder complaint, hooker James Parsons again takes over the captaincy.

The win over the Jaguares was the Blues' second of the season but they remain bottom of the New Zealand conference.

The Chiefs top the conference with 24 points, the most in the competition, and they are coming off an impressive 48-23 victory away to top Australian side the Brumbies.

Blues: Lolagi Visinia, Rieko Ioane, Rene Ranger, Piers Francis, Tevita Li, Ihaia West, Bryn Hall, Steven Luatua, Blake Gibson, Joe Edwards, Josh Bekhuis, Hoani Matenga, Charlie Faumuina, James Parsons (capt), Sam Prattley. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Namatahi Waa, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Akira Ioane, Kara Pryor, Billy Guyton, Matt McGahan, George Moala.

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