Match Details: Saturday 1 May, 7:05pm, Eden Park
Referee: Mike Fraser
Won: Blues 13, Chiefs 22, 1 draw
Last match: Chiefs 15 Blues 12 in Hamilton on 27 March 2021
Watch: Sky Sport 1 in New Zealand & overseas broadcast information HERE.
HISTORIC WĀHINE MATCH
History will be made on Saturday afternoon, when the first ever women’s match between Super Rugby clubs will be played in New Zealand. The Blues and Chiefs will be part of the inaugural women’s Super Rugby match, with the hope that a Super Rugby women’s competition will one day become part of the women’s schedule. The two sides are stacked with eight Black Ferns each and the Blues team features eight teenagers, so the future is certainly looking bright. Kick off is at 4.35pm.
The Chiefs legend answered an SOS call from coach Clayton McMillan last week when Kaylum Boshier and Mitch Karpik went down with injury. The 37 year-old last played for the Chiefs in 2018 and is in line to play his 180th for his beloved Super club. Messam has been in training for a professional boxing bout so he’s in good nick and excited to potentially take to the field again for the Chiefs on Saturday.
CHIEFS UNVEIL SIX DEBUTANTS
With a final looming against the Crusaders next weekend in Christchurch, the Chiefs have opted to rest key players like Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown and skipper Brad Weber for Saturday’s clash. It’s given the opportunity for six players to make their Chiefs debut. Viliami Taulani and Zane Kapeli will wear the jersey for the first time in the loose forwards, while on the bench Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Tom Florence, Rivez Reihena and Chiefs Under 20s captain Gideon Wrampling are hopeful debutants. The Blues have also handed exciting young fullback Zarn Sullivan a starting debut.
The Blues have won three of their last five Super Rugby games against the Chiefs after having been winless in their 15 meetings prior.
The Chiefs have won their last five Super Rugby games on the bounce, each by a margin of fewer than seven points on the day.
Blues: 1. Karl Tu’inukuafe 2. Kurt Eklund 3. Nepo Laulala 4. Gerard Cowley-Tuioti 5. Sam Darry 6. Tom Robinson © 7. Adrian Choat 8. Hoskins Sotutu 9. Finlay Christie 10. Otere Black 11. Caleb Clarke 12. Tanielu Tele’a 13. Rieko Ioane © 14. Bryce Heem 15. Zarn Sullivan*
Reserves: 16. Soane Vikena 17. Ofa Tuungafasi 18. Marcel Renata 19. Josh Goodhue 20. Akira Ioane 21. Sam Nock 22. Harry Plummer 23. AJ Lam
Gallagher Chiefs: 1. Ollie Norris 2. Bradley Slater 3. Sione Mafileo 4. Samipeni Finai 5. Josh Lord 6. Viliami Taulani* 7. Zane Kapeli* 8. Pita Gus Sowakula 9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi 10. Bryn Gatland 11. Shaun Stevenson 12. Rameka Poihipi 13. Sean Wainui © 14. Bailyn Sullivan 15. Kaleb Trask
Reserves: 16. Nathan Harris 17. Ezekiel Lindenmuth* 18. Joe Apikotoa 19. Liam Messam 20. Tom Florence* 21. Xavier Roe 22. Rivez Reihana* 23. Gideon Wrampling*