Super Rugby Aupiki: Black Ferns star Ruby Tui returns for Chiefs Manawa in final against Blues

Black Ferns star Ruby Tui will return to the Chiefs Manawa line-up to contest the Super Rugby Aupiki final against the Blues on Saturday.

Tui, who leads the competition in clean breaks, was concussed by a high tackle from international teammate Sylvia Brunt, when the two teams met two weeks ago. She was unable to take the field for the Chiefs' final regular season encounter against defending champions Matatū, won 22-20 by the South Islanders.

Brunt will miss the final, while she serves a three-game suspension for the tackle, with Daynah Nanivell filling her No.13 jersey for the Blues at Auckland's Eden Park.

Ruby Tui in action for the Chiefs Manawa.
Ruby Tui in action for the Chiefs Manawa. Photo credit: Photosport

Meanwhile, Renee Woodman-Wickliffe has been named on the Blues bench for her 100th first-class game.

"We're stoked to be in a final, but we want to go the whole way," said Blues coach Willie Walker. "This week will be about controlling our emotions, embracing the fact we’re in a final and making sure we put a performance out there we can be proud of. 

"We've got a bunch of experienced heads in this squad, many of whom have finals experience. They'll be having conversations with our younger players this week around what to expect on Saturday and how to deal with the heightened pressure of a final."

The Chiefs have named a Black Ferns tight five, with a front row of Kate Henwood, Luke Connor and Tanya Kalounivale, and a second row of Charmaine Smith and Chelsea Bremner. 

Blues: 1-Chryss Viliko, 2-Grace Gago, 3-Aldora Itunu, 4-Eloise Blackwell, 5-Maama Vaipulu, 6-Maiakawanakaulani Roos (cc), 7-Niall Williams-Guthrie, 8-Liana Mikaele-Tu’u, 9-Melanie Puckett, 10-Krysten Cottrell, 11-Jaymie Kolose, 12-Ruahei Demant (cc), 13-Daynah Nankivell, 14-Katelyn Vahaakolo, 15-Patricia Maliepo 

Reserves: 16-Nijiho Nagata, 17-Maddi Robinson, 18-Cheyenne Tuli-Fale, 19-Charmaine McMenamin, 20-Elizabith Moimoi, 21-Kahlia Awa, 22-Kerri Johnson/Angelica Mekemeke Vahai, 23-Renee Woodman-Wickliffe 

Chiefs Manawa: 1-Kate Henwood, 2-Luka Connor, 3-Tanya Kalounivale, 4-Charmaine Smith, 5-Chelsea Bremner, 6-Mia Anderson, 7-Kennedy Simon (c), 8-Chyna Hohepa, 9-Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, 10-Hazel Tubic, 11-Reese Anderson, 12-Grace Steinmetz, 13-Mererangi Paul, 14-Ruby Tui, 15-Renee Holmes

Reserves: 16-Vici-Rose Green, 17-Krystal Murray, 18-Bitila Tawake, 19-Grace Kukutai, 20-Victoria Edmonds, 21-Ariana Bayler, 22-Chelsea Semple, 23-Azalleyah Maaka