Prattley back for Blues against Crusaders

The Blues have regained prop Sam Prattley but will be without loose forward Tanerau Latimer for their Super Rugby match against the Crusaders in Auckland.

Prattley was a late withdrawal from the Blues’ 17-13 win over the Western Force last weekend after rolling an ankle in training.

His availability means his replacement as starting loosehead in Perth, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, goes to the bench.

Latimer has been ruled out with a knee complaint, meaning Kara Pryor will wear the No.7 jersey at Eden Park on Saturday night.

Otherwise, the run-on 15 named on Thursday is the same as that which started against the Force, although centre George Moala has been bracketed with Male Sa’u.

Coach Tana Umaga is optimistic that Moala will be right to face the Crusaders.

“George is a bit banged up,” he said.

“He had to get through training today, which it looks like he did. We’ll see how he has pulled through, but it’s just haematoma and things like that.”

The Crusaders won the round-two meeting between the sides 28-13 in Christchurch to start a run of nine victories in their past 10 matches that has them just a point behind overall competition leaders the Chiefs.

The Blues sit outside the play-off spots but still with hopes of making the post-season.

Blues: Melani Nanai, Matt Duffie, George Moala/Male Sa’u, Piers Francis, Tevita Li, Ihaia West, Billy Guyton, Steven Luatua, Kara Pryor, Jerome Kaino, Josh Bekhuis, Patrick Tuipulotu, Charlie Faumuina, James Parsons (capt), Sam Prattley.

Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Sione Mafileo, Hoani Matenga, Jack Ram, Bryn Hall, Male Sa’u/Michael Little, Lolagi Visinia.

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