2 May 2012

Anscombe not scapegoat says Blues coach

6:54 pm on 2 May 2012

The Blues Super rugby coach Pat Lam denies first five Gareth Anscombe's been made the scapegoat for the side's poor performance.

Anscombe's been left out of the playing squad altogether for Friday night's Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes in Wellington with Michael Hobbs replacing him at first five.

Lam says Anscombe's played six of the Blues' nine games and a week off will do him good.

The Blues are still without All Black front rowers Kevan Mealamu and Tony Woodcock who are both injured.

Chris Lowrey replaces Daniel Braid at blindside flanker with Braid dropping to the reserves.

His brother Luke will again captain the side while All Blacks Piri Weepu and Ma'a Nonu will both start, in their first game back at Westpac Stadium since their departure from the Hurricanes.