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Blues v Reds

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New Super Rugby competition explained

How does the new Super Rugby competition work and why this weekend's matches could lead to three Australian teams in the finals.

PT0M0S 620 349

Eden Park, Auckland, Friday 5.35pm (AEST)

Last meeting: Round 11, 2013 - Reds 12 bt Blues 11 at Suncorp Stadium

Head-to-head: Played 19, Blues 8 Reds 10, drawn 1

In Auckland: Played 8, Blues 5 Reds 2, drawn 1

Referee: Nick Briant (NZL)

TV: Live, FoxSports 2

Ladbrokes: Blues $1.37, Reds $3.12

Betfair: Blues $1.30, Reds $2.86

Steve Samuelson writes: The Reds have won their past four clashes against the Blues and welcome back from injury Wallaby breakaway Liam Gill for Quade Cooper’s 100th Super Rugby clash. The under-fire Reds will target Blues rookie halves Simon Hickey and Bryn Hall but will need to show more composure with ball in hand than the Waratahs last week.

AAP writes: The bumbling Reds head to the ever daunting Eden Park desperately searching to end a three match losing streak and mark Quade Cooper's 100th Reds match with a much-needed win. They'll be boosted by the return of Wallabies flanker Liam Gill, who is one of four starting side that lost 35-21 to the Hurricanes last week. The ninth-placed Blues have made one injury forced change following last week's win over the Waratahs, with Brendon O'Connor starting at openside flanker in the absence of skipper Luke Braid (shoulder).

BLUES: Charles Piutau, Frank Halai, Francis Saili, Ma'a Nonu, Lolagi Visinia, Simon Hickey, Bryn Hall, Jerome Kaino, Brendon O'Connor, Peter Saili, Tom Donnelly, Patrick Tuipulotu, Charlie Faumuina, Keven Mealamu (c), Tony Woodcock. Reserves: James Parsons, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Angus Ta'avao, Hayden Triggs, Steven Luatua, Piri Weepu, Ihaia West, George Moala.

REDS: Mike Harris, Chris Feauai-Satutia, Ben Tapuai, Anthony Fainga'a, Rod Davies, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Eddie Quirk, James Horwill (capt), Rob Simmons, Greg Holmes, Saia Fainga'a, James Slipper. Reserves: James Hanson, Ben Daley, Jono Owen, Ed O'Donoghue, Beau Robinson, Nick Frisby, Ben Lucas, Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

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