Barrett to bring up 150th Super Rugby match in round nine
The Blues take on the Waratahs in a Trans-Tasman clash this Saturday night at 7:05pm at Eden Park with the home side looking to keep pace with the top four in Super Rugby Pacific.
It’s a double dose of rugby action with the Royal New Zealand Navy and Royal New Zealand Air Force rugby teams playing an opening fixture at 4:10pm with a ‘Warbirds’ air show ahead of the match.
Beauden Barrett and Harry Plummer will bring up a pair of milestones this weekend with Barrett clocking his 150th Super Rugby match while Plummer notches his 50th appearance for the Blues.
Lock Patrick Tuipulotu will captain the side with regular skipper Dalton Papalii out, while Akira Ioane and Bryce Heem return from injury and will look to stamp their mark from the bench.
Blues Head Coach, Leon MacDonald, said his side are rejuvenated and ready to rip in against the Waratahs.
“The bye week came at a good time for the boys, and it’s been pleasing to see them return to work this week exuding energy and focus.”
“There’s no easy games in this competition and the Waratahs pose threats across the park, we’ve had a good look at the video and have a few ideas on where we want to attack them on Saturday night.”
The evening will acknowledge and commemorate the men and women who have served our country through the reading of The Ode of Remembrance by Sir Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford, a moment’s silence and The Last Post as well as hosting the Defence Force rugby teams.
🙌🏽 Culture Round is coming in round 10! We can’t wait to celebrate all the cultures involved in our game.#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/J3x2MGRb09— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 18, 2023
“It will be a real buzz for those players to run out on Eden Park and set the tone for the evening where we will show support and respect for our Defence Force and Returned Services Associations – I’m sure both teams will want bragging rights when they sit in the stands and watch the Blues match afterwards!”
Meanwhile stand-in skipper, Patrick Tuipulotu, said the team are motivated to put in a worthy of those celebrating milestones this Saturday.
“As players we all know the sacrifice and commitment needed to reach those milestones so I want to congratulate Beaudy and Harry on their 150th and 50th respectively as well as Sam Darry who will bring up his 20th ‘blazer game’ for us on Saturday night.”
“It’s always an honour to lead the Blues and this weekend will be no different. We want to put together back-to-back wins for the first time this season and really kick-start some momentum into the second half of our campaign.”
The Blues want to thank the New Zealand Defence Force and The RSA for their support in helping make this weekend happen.
Poppies will be available for purchase on the night at Eden Park and fans can text VETS to 4622 to make a $3 donation with the money going towards supporting our veterans.
1: Ofa Tuungafasi
2: Ricky Riccitelli
3: Nepo Laulala
4: Patrick Tuipulotu (c)
5: Sam Darry
6: Anton Segner
7: Adrian Choat
8: Hoskins Sotutu
9: Finlay Christie
10: Beauden Barrett – 150 Super Rugby Games
11: Caleb Clarke
12: Harry Plummer – 50 Blues Games
13: Rieko Ioane
14: Mark Telea
15: Stephen Perofeta
Reserves: Soane Vikena, Jordan Lay, James Lay, Cameron Suafoa, Akira Ioane, Sam Nock, Bryce Heem, Zarn Sullivan
Round 9️⃣ we are ready for you!— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 19, 2023
Which match are you most keen for?#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/9H6VqmeVi7