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Beauden Barrett to make Blues debut at 15 as Savea returns for Hurricanes

The two-time World Rugby player of the year hasn’t played since the World Cup.

ALL BLACKS PLAYMAKER Beauden Barrett has been named at fullback for his Blues debut in Sunday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa clash with the Hurricanes at Eden Park [KO 4.35am, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action - repeated on Sky Sports Action at 10am and 2pm].

The 29-year-old makes his long-awaited return from his post-World Cup sabbatical against his former team in the Hurricanes.

beauden-barrett Barrett is back for his Blues debut. Source: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

Barrett will wear the 15 shirt, with Otere Black at out-half for Leon McDonald’s side. Dan Carter is not in the matchday squad after only recently joining the Blues as injury cover.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have welcomed back Ardie Savea from the knee injury he suffered at last year’s World Cup. The explosive back row has been named on the bench as part of a 6/2 split for Jason Holland’s team on Sunday.

The Hurricanes will be co-captained by All Blacks hooker Dane Coles and scrum-half TJ Perenara, while jackal machine Du’Plessis Kirifi is one to watch in the back row. Powerhouse backs Ben Lam and Ngani Laumape will be important players too, although Jordie Barrett is missing through injury.

ardie-savea Ardie Savea has been out injured since the World Cup. Source: Photosport/Elias Rodriguez/INPHO

The Blues, meanwhile, are captained by All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu and feature the extremely promising Hoskins Sotutu at number eight. TJ Faiane and Rieko Ioane continue the centre combination that was strong earlier this year in Super Rugby, while wing pair Caleb Clarke and Mark Telea will be difficult to stop.

All eyes will be on fullback Barrett, however, as the two-time World Rugby player of the year makes his comeback to the game.

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15. Beauden Barrett
14. Mark Telea
13. Rieko Ioane
12. TJ Faiane 
11. Caleb Clarke
10. Otere Black
9. Sam Nock

1. Alex Hodgman
2. James Parsons
3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi
4. Patrick Tuipulotu
5. Josh Goodhue
6. Tom Robinson
7. Blake Gibson
8. Hoskins Sotutu

Replacements:

16. Kurt Eklund
17. Ezekiel Lindenmuth
18. Marcel Renata
19. Gerard Cowley-Tuioti
20. Dalton Papalii
21. Finlay Christie
22. Harry Plummer
23. Matt Duffie

Hurricanes:

15. Chase Tiatia
14. Wes Goosen
13. Vince Aso
12. Ngani Laumape
11. Ben Lam
10. Jackson Garden-Bachop
9. TJ Perenara (co-captain)

1. Fraser Armstrong
2. Dane Coles (co-captain)
3. Tyrel Lomax
4. James Blackwell
5. Scott Scrafton
6. Reed Prinsep
7. Du’Plessis Kirifi
8. Gareth Evans

Replacements:

16. Asafo Aumua
17. Tevita Mafileo
18. Alex Fidow
19. Isaia Walker-Leawere
20. Vaea Fifita
21. Ardie Savea
22. Jamie Booth
23. Billy Proctor

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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