11 Feb 2009

Blues coach says it's too soon to play Blackie

6:53 pm on 11 February 2009

The Blues rugby coach Pat Lam says it wouldn't be fair bringing new flanker Josh Blackie straight into the starting line up for Friday's night's Super 14 opener against the Western Force in Perth.

The former Highlanders and Otago captain's been in Japan for a year and playing his last match there on Saturday.

Lam says it's more important for Blackie to get know the other players and combinations so he can be in contention for next week's match against the Bulls in Pretoria.

Blackie usually played openside in Japan and says he knows the ELV rules will mean a change of pace.