Pryor to start for Blues

Blues flanker Kara Pryor comes off the bench to make his first start of the season against the Crusaders at Eden Park on Saturday.

Pryor has played nine games this season as a replacement where he has made a considerable impact.

He comes in to the starting line-up to replace Tanerau Latimer who was ruled out with a knee injury. Tonga World Cup representative and Pryor’s fellow Northland player, Jack Ram comes into the reserves for the first time after playing once last year.

It is the only change from the team that beat the Western Force in Perth last weekend.

Japan international Male Sa’u is bracketed at centre with George Moala who is nursing some bumps and bruises after a typically physical clash last weekend. If Moala is ruled out then Michael Little will come on to the bench.

Former Crusader Billy Guyton gets a second straight start at scrum-half with top try scorer Melani Nanai to again start at fullback.

Players not considered with injury include Matt McGahan with a hip injury, Latimer, and longer-term injured players Ben Lam, TJ Faiane, Rene Ranger, Matt Vaega and Blake Gibson.

Blues: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala/Male Sa’u, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Billy Guyton, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Sam Prattley 
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Hoani Matenga, 20 Jack Ram, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Male Sa/u/Michael Little, 23 Lolagi Visinia

Date: Saturday, May 28
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Referees: Paul Williams, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Glenn Newman