Black in, Robinson out

Otere Black. Photo: Getty Images
Otere Black. Photo: Getty Images
Otere Black will play, Tom Robinson will not.

The Blues’ first five-eighth has pulled through after an injury scare to play in tomorrow’s Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final against the Highlanders at Eden Park.

However, their blindside flanker was ruled out following a head knock in last week’s match against the Force.

It is a blow for the side — Robinson provides quality and physicality in the No6 jersey.

However, in Akira Ioane the Blues have a more than useful replacement. He will join Dalton Papalii and Hoskins Sotutu in what is a potent loose forward trio.

Indeed it is a potent side all over the park.

Prop Ofa Tuungafasi will also miss the game, having not recovered from a knee injury that will require surgery.

Despite that the Blues still retain three All Black props in a tight five led by lock Patrick Tuipulotu.

There is also plenty of flair in the backline, notably in the likes of Rieko Ioane and Mark Telea.

However, the big inclusion is that of Black.

He has been influential in directing the side throughout Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

Black had picked up a leg injury at training on Tuesday and was seen limping from the field.

The appearance of All Black Beauden Barrett, back from Japan, sparked speculation the former two-time world player of the year may turn out for the Blues. But Black has been cleared and Barrett was confirmed to not be playing.

 

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