Francis to make his debut for Blues
England-born Piers Francis will make his Super Rugby debut against the Jaguares as the Blues seek to improve their backline communication. The Counties Manukau five-eighth will wear the No.12 jersey, outside Ihaia West, against the Argentines on Auckland’s North Shore tonight.
His inclusion is one of four changes that coach Tana Umaga has made to his starting 15. “We’re looking for some of the skills he has in terms of communication and second pivot, and to give some assistance to Ihaia in there,” Umaga said.
Francis, 25, suffered a foot injury in the preseason win over the Melbourne Rebels and has worked his way back through club rugby.
Lolagi Visinia, Rieko Ioane, Rene Ranger, Piers Francis, Tevita Li, Ihaia West, Bryn Hall, Steven Luatua, Blake Gibson, Joe Edwards, Josh Bekhuis, Patrick Tuipulotu, Charlie Faumuina, James Parson (capt), Nic Mayhew. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Sam Prattley, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Hoani Matenga,