Faumuina returns to face Lions

Date published: May 12 2016

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The absence of enduring lock Josh Bekhuis is the notable omission from the Blues team to take on the Lions in Johannesburg.

Bekhuis tweaked his calf in the win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth, with the injury not improving sufficiently to play.

It will be the first game that the Super Rugby centurion has missed this year for the Blues, with the aggressive Hoani Matenga to take his place for his third start in the last five games.

With an expected major battle upfront, All Black Charlie Faumuina returns to start in the front row alongside the in-form Sam Prattley and skipper James Parsons.

Robust loose forward Joe Edwards moves into the reserves with Steven Luatua providing the lock cover. The backline remains unchanged from last week’s game against the Kings.

Blues: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 George Moala, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Hoani Matenga, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (c), Sam Prattley
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Kara Pryor, 20 Joe Edwards, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt McGahan, 23 Male Sau

Date: Saturday, May 14
Venue: Emirates Airlines Stadium, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19:15 local (17:15 GMT)
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Referees: Jaco Peyper, Pro Legoete
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

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