West back at 10 for Blues

Date published: May 6 2015

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Ihaia West will start at fly-half in a much-changed Blues team for Friday's Super Rugby match against the Rebels in Melbourne.

West replaces Dan Bowden, who has been ruled out for up to two weeks with a groin injury.

Steven Luatua will skipper the team from number eight as he comes into the starting XV as a direct replacement for Jerome Kaino, who is out for the rest of the season.

Lolagi Visinia returns to full-back in place of the injured Charles Piutau, while Tevita Li is promoted from the bench to start on the wing.

The front row is rotated with All Blacks Charlie Faumuina and James Parsons being rested, meaning Angus Ta'avao gets his fourth start at tighthead prop while there is a potential Super Rugby debut for hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate off the bench.

Young loose forward Joe Edwards is also set for his first taste of action off the bench.

Blues: 15 Lolagi Visinia. 14 Melani Nanai, 13 Francis Saili, 12 George Moala, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Steven Luatua (c), 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Sam Prattley, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Joe Edwards, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Hamish Northcott.

Date: Friday, 8 May
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19:40 local (09:40 GMT, 21:40 NZST, 11:40 SAST)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: James Leckie (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

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