Super Rugby 2020: Otere Black back for Blues against Bulls

The Blues have rung the changes for their Super Rugby clash with the Bulls in Pretoria on Sunday morning (NZ time).

Coach Leon MacDonald has taken a 'horses for courses' approach to his selection, eager to take advantage of the hard-and-fast conditions.

Lock Jacob Pierce earns his third cap and first start of the season, alongside captain Patrick Tuipulotu in the middle row, which sees Tom Robinson move to his preferred loose forward role and present a sizable lineout. 

Otere Black has recovered from a pre-season injury to take his place at first-five, allowing Harry Plummer his first chance in the midfield, while Stephen Perofeta shifts to fullback.

The bench includes hooker Kurt Eklund, All Blacks Ofa Tuungafasi and Dalton Papalii, a potential debut for aggressive lock Aaron Carroll, and the experience of TJ Faiane and Matt Duffie.

Rieko Ioane wasn't considered due to his hand fracture, but is confident he'll be ready to go next weekend.

Blues: 1-Karl Tu’inukuafe, 2-James Parsons, 3-Sione Mafileo, 4-Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 5-Jacob Pierce, 6-Tom Robinson, 7-Tony Lamborn, 8-Hoskins Sotutu, 9-Jonathan Ruru, 10-Otere Black, 11-Mark Telea, 12-Harry Plummer, 13-Joe Marchant, 14-Emoni Narawa, 15-Stephen Perofeta.

Reserves: 16-Kurt Eklund, 17-Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18-Ofa Tuungafasi, 19-Aaron Carroll, 20- Dalton Papalii, 21-Sam Nock, 22-TJ Faiane, 23-Matt Duffie.