Blues wait on Tuipulotu

Patrick Tuipulotu is hopeful of making his return to the starting XV for the Blues after being bracketed for their clash with the Rebels.

The Blues are back from their bye week with a relatively unchanged side to take on the Australians in their final home game for a month.

The only other change from the side that started against the Sharks two weeks ago is the return of George Moala to the XV in place of the injured Rene Ranger. It will be Moala’s 49th game for the Blues.

The game marks the final game this season for Blues tyros Rieko and Akira Ioane before they move to the All Blacks Sevens squad in the build-up for the Rio Olympics.

Players not considered with injury include TJ Faine, Rene Ranger and Ben Lam all with season-ending injuries; Blake Gibson (fractured thumb) and Jordan Trainor.

Blues: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Rieko Ioane, 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 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu or Hoani Matenga, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Sam Prattley
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Nic Mayhew or Namatahi Waa, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt McGahan, 23 Melani Nanai or Matt Duffie

Date: Saturday, April 30
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 17:15 local (05:15 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson, Brett Johnson
TMO: Ben Skeen