The second game this weekend will be on Sunday when the Blues host the Hurricanes in Auckland.
This is one that have been hyped up a bit with former Hurricanes star Barrett now in the jumpers of the Blues.
He will play his first game for the Blues and it happen to be against his former team as well which add to the spice of rugby returning in New Zealand. To make this even more special, it seems the Blues will play infront of their biggest crowd in a decade when they take on the Hurricanes.
Beauden Barrett will run out for the Blues in the number fifteen jumper this weekend and not as expected in the ten jumper.
While Barrett may be the talk of the town in Auckland, All Black Arie Savea will be back in his Hurricanes jumper after a eight month layoff.
He is coming back from a knee injury which he picked up in the World Cup last year against England in the Semi Final.
Savea will be playing off the bench with Asafo Aumua and Vaea Fifita.
The Blues have a powerful loose trio for this Sunday clash in Hoskins Sotutu at eight, Blake Gibson at seven and Tom Robinson at six.
The Blues also have some quality to back these three up in Akira Ioane and Dalton Papalii who will make their impact later in the game.
Tickets have been flying for both matches and on Friday tickets sales for the Auckland clash have already reached 40,000.
The Hurricanes may have won the last five clashes in Auckland but this will be a totally different ball game come Sunday.
The Blues have been great in the Super Rugby we did have earlier this year but their has always been a question mark against them when they face New Zealand franchises.
Many believe the Blues have a great chance to win this shorten version of Super Rugby but they will have to get it right from game one and against a Hurricanes side it will not be easy even if it is at home.
There are bunch off new laws that the players will have to adopt too and if you have not seen them yet see below.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- The Blues picked up a 24-15 win in their last Super Rugby meeting with the Hurricanes, snapping a nine-game losing streak against them in the process.
- The Hurricanes have won on each of their last five visits to face the Blues in Super Rugby, more times than they had won in all 12 such meetings prior (W4).
- The Blues have won their last four Super Rugby games on the bounce; the last time they won more in succession was a seven-game stretch in the 2011 campaign which was bookended with wins against the Hurricanes.
- The Blues have lost only three of their last 10 Super Rugby games played on home soil (W6, D1); however, they have won only one of their last four in that span (D1, L2).
- Only two of the Hurricanes’ last five Super Rugby games have seen the same team lead at both half-time and full-time on the day.
- The Hurricanes have lost only one of their last nine regular season Super Rugby games away from home (W7, D1), including wins in each of their last three New Zealand derbies on the road.
- The Blues have made 10+ offloads in each of their last two Super Rugby games, after doing so only once in nine games prior; the last time they made 10+ offloads in more consecutive games was a seven-game stretch across the 2017 and 2018 campaigns.
- The Hurricanes have finished each of their last 10 Super Rugby games without losing a single scrum on their own feed, winning a total of 84 scrums in that stretch.
- Beauden Barrett has scored three tries and made three try assists across his last four Super Rugby games between the Blues and Hurricanes; however, this will be the first time he’s represented the Auckland side against his former club.
- Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes) has made 10+ carries and 10+ kicks in play in each of his last two Super Rugby games, after having not done so even once previously in the competition.
Prediction: Very difficult to go in the first round but we stick with Hurricanes by 7
BLUES: Beauden Barrett, Mark Telea, Rieko Ioane, TJ Faiane, Caleb Clarke, Otere Black, Sam Nock; Hoskins Sotutu, Blake Gibson, Tom Robinson, Josh Goodhue, Patrick Tuipulotu (capt), Ofa Tu’ungafasi, James Parsons, Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: Kurt Eklund, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Marcel Renata, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Dalton Papalii, Finlay Christie, Harry Plummer, Matt Duffie.
HURRICANES: Chase Tiatia, Wes Goosen, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Jackson Garden-Bachop, TJ Perenara (co-captain), Gareth Evans, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Scott Scrafton, James Blackwell, Tyrel Lomax, Dane Coles (co-captain), Fraser Armstrong.
Replacements: Asafo Aumua, Tevita Mafileo, Alex Fidow, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Vaea Fifita, Ardie Savea, Jamie Booth, Billy Proctor.