Expect a carnival atmosphere at Eden Park on Sunday afternoon, with Harry Plummer playing Blues ringleader, as they host the Western Force at 3:35pm.
Plummer takes the captaincy for Sunday’s clash with free carnival rides and circus games as part of this weekend’s entertainment on offer for families at Eden Park.
The Blues will also be taking a collection for the family of former Blues, Auckland and Tonga halfback Taniela Moa who tragically died in December 2021, aged 36.
The funds raised will go towards supporting his children’s education and ensuring Taniela’s memory lives on.
Blues Head Coach, Leon MacDonald, has made several changes to his side with a handful of players on All Blacks rest and injuries to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Alex Hodgman and James Lay.
“It was a real ding-dong over the weekend and we’ve unfortunately picked up a couple more injuries,” said MacDonald.
“Roger has a cast on his right hand so will be out for at least a month while Alex and James picked up shoulder and ankle injuries respectively.”
“Unfortunately Alex will be out for the rest of our season, you never like to see players end their season prematurely and we wish him well in his recovery. Our medical staff will monitor James’ ankle over the next week to see where he lands.”
“Harry Plummer will lead the team in Dalton’s absence. Harry is captain of the Auckland Bunnings NPC side and has the respect of our team. He’s a leader within the group and we trust him with the armband this weekend.”
Plummer said it was a privilege to lead the Blues against the Western Force but was eager to point out the job at hand was getting a win on Sunday.
“I was honoured when Leon asked me to take the reins this weekend,” said Plummer.
“I’ve been out for a couple of weeks now, so I’m stoked to be back playing and I know the boys are keen to bounce back from last weekend and put in a tough performance against the Force.
“We’ve got some fresh faces in the lineup and we work in a competitive environment. We all want game time so when you get a chance to perform you have to take it with both hands.”
Plummer also noted the importance of Sunday’s collection for Taniela Moa’s family.
“The Blues Alumni form an important part of our club and I hope people can dig deep this Sunday for Taniela’s children to help with their secondary school education,” said Plummer.
Despite a number of changes this weekend, Head Coach MacDonald was making no excuses heading into the weekend against the Western Force.
“Injuries and squad management are part of rugby and we pick a squad at the start of the year that can stand up to the rigours of a Super Rugby season.”
“The team we’ve picked for the Force this Sunday are there to do a job for the club. We’re under no illusions they’ll be coming here to try tip us up and we’ll be ready to meet that challenge.”
- Joshua Fusitu’a
- Kurt Eklund
- Ofa Tuungafasi
- James Tucker
- Cameron Suafoa
- Anton Segner
- Adrian Choat
- Hoskins Sotutu
- Sam Nock
- Stephen Perofeta
- Mark Telea
- Harry Plummer (c)
- Bryce Heem
- Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens
- Zarn Sullivan
- Ricky Riccitelli
- Jordan Lay
- Marcel Renata
- Tom Robinson
- Sam Darry
- Taine Plumtree
- Taufa Funaki
- AJ Lam (Corey Evans)
Players not considered: Beauden Barrett (rest), Finlay Christie (rest), Caleb Clarke (rest), Alex Hodgman (shoulder, season), Akira Ioane (knee), Rieko Ioane (rest), Nepo Laulala (rest), James Lay (ankle), Dalton Papalii (rest), Patrick Tuipulotu (knee), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (hand)
- Blues v Western Force
- Sunday, March 26 | 3:35pm
- Eden Park, Auckland
Coverage: SKY SPORT & Gold Sport + iHeart Radio
KIDS GO FREE with a paying GA adult! Blues memberships and ticket information for both Blues men’s and nib Blues women’s fixtures can be found online at www.blues.flicket.co.nz.
Taniela Moa Family Collection
The Blues will be taking a collection for the family of former Blues, Auckland and Tonga halfback Taniela Moa who tragically died in December 2021, aged 36. Moa made 27 appearances for the Blues between 2007 and 2010 and is survived by his wife Fetu’u, and three children Tevita, Benjamin and Kava.
The funds raised will go towards supporting the children’s education as they embark on secondary school and ensuring Taniela’s memory lives on through them. There are several ways you can donate to the collection for Taniela Moa’s family, either by bucket collection, Eftpos or by adding a donation to your ticket purchase
Please BRING CASH for this weekend’s bucket collection as the rest of Eden Park is now a cashless environment.
Bring your headphones
There’s a new feature available at the park this season. With Livefeed, you can listen to live audio from your mobile phone using 4G and gain all the insights and knowledge that you would normally get from watching at home. Livefeed offers near real-time audio, ensuring you never miss a single try, penalty or ref’s call. Plus, you can click over to the house PA to hear the entertainment pieces including pre-match, half time and full time.
Simply scan the QR code on the big screen at the ground, or visit blues.livefeed.fm from within the venue to enjoy the new audio experience.