21 Mar 2012

Weepu to start at No.10 vs his old Hurricanes side at Eden Park

3:09 pm on 21 March 2012

The Blues will start All Black halfback Piri Weepu at first five eighth for the first time against Weepu's old side the Hurricanes in Auckland on Friday.

Weepu will run out alongside another former Cane, Ma'a Nonu, at second five, and Alby Mathewson at halfback.

Weepu says he won't be swayed by emotion running out against the side he played eight seasons for. He says it'll be difficult taking the field against his old mates but it's a job and he'll be doing all he can to get the win for his new team.

Weepu says there won't be any friends on the field and he's only got a point to prove to himself, not against the Hurricanes.

Tony Woodcock returns at loosehead prop while Liaki Moli gets his first start at lock.

Daniel Braid will captain the side in the absence of Keven Mealamu, who sits out the Eden Park clash with a calf strain.

Isaia Toeava could be looking at six months out if he requires surgery on his troublesome right hip - the longstanding stress fracture has worsened and the Blues and All Blacks medical staff are exploring options with a decision due later this week.

The Blues are also missing Jerome Kaino, Anthony Boric, Luke Braid, Rene Ranger and George Moala for the Canes game on Friday.