18 May 2013

Blues look for first Christchurch win in 9 years

6:00 pm on 18 May 2013

The elevation of some of the Blues' young players to the All Blacks training squad has given them a big boost ahead of their crunch match against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Eight Blues were named in Steve Hansen's 38-man squad to attend All Blacks training camps in Mt Maunganui.

Wing Frank Halai, fullback Charles Piutau, midfielder Francis Saili and flanker Steven Luatua will all be in the All Black environment for the first team.

The Blues coach, Sir John Kirwan, says they've had a spring in their step this week as they look to earn their first win in Christchurch in nine years.

The Blues outclassed the seven-time champions in their first meeting this season, but they have not won in Christchurch since 2004 when Carlos Spencer scored a famous try to seal the win.

Sir John has made four changes to the side that beat the Rebels, with hooker Keven Mealamu, lock Culum Retallick, loosie Luke Braid and second five-eighth Jackson Willison all returning to the starting line-up.