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Moala, Ranger keen for 10s action

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Lynn McConnell     03 Feb 2017     Getty Images

Both have had surgery in the off season, Moala for an elbow injury and Ranger on his knee.

Moala said at Blues training on Thursday that his body was feeling really good and his arm was standing up after contact training this week.

The elbow injury he suffered was still a work in progress as he didn't have his full strength back yet but he was keen to get some match action to build-up.

There had not been a lot of specific emphasis on 10s in training during the build-up. It was incorporated into the usual preparation, 'a lot of running', he said.

Blues assistant coach Steve Jackson said Wednesday's training next week would be devoted to preparing specifically for the 10s, especially for those players not familiar with the game.

"We'll have one hit out before we leave and get over there. It's a game where parts of 15s come into it but it obviously opens up more space with only having 10 players on the field at one time.

"You get the use of loose forwards in the front row, that's what they'll be accustomed to and again, you're looking at one-on-one match-ups and guys being able to break the line.

"It's pretty fast, but again, there'll be lineout drives and contestable scrums so it's a lot faster and I'm pretty sure the people who haven't seen much, and guys who haven't played it, will enjoy it," he said.

Jackson, who coached a Blues side to success in a Singapore 10s tournament in 2014, said there were a lot of 10s tournaments around the world and players who had experience in them while he had been involved in two tournaments himself which gave him an idea of how the game was played.

Rugby league nines did not really offer much by way of ideas, it still tended to be stop-start, he said.

But the 10s would be much faster, players would still contest rucks but the ball would emerge a lot faster and there would be a lot more on offer for the attacking team while defensively sides would have to work hard, he said.

Ranger was looking good, Jackson said, and he had got through some contact training and was rearing to go.

The chance to play in the 10s would be a good opportunity for him to try out his knee and to get some confidence. He might not get any game time in the warm-up against the Hurricanes at the weekend just to give him time to get more strength in his knee and the 10s was a better chance to achieve that, he said.