Plummer takes the captaincy for Sunday’s clash with free carnival rides and circus games as part of this weekend’s entertainment on offer for families at Eden Park.
The Blues will also be taking a collection for the family of former Blues, Auckland and Tonga halfback Taniela Moa who tragically died in December 2021, aged 36.
The funds raised will go towards supporting his children’s education and ensuring Taniela’s memory lives on.
Blues Head Coach, Leon MacDonald, has made several changes to his side with a handful of players on All Blacks rest and injuries to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Alex Hodgman and James Lay.
“It was a real ding-dong over the weekend and we’ve unfortunately picked up a couple more injuries,” said MacDonald.
“Roger has a cast on his right hand so will be out for at least a month while Alex and James picked up shoulder and ankle injuries respectively.”
“Unfortunately Alex is out for the rest of our season, you never like to see players end their season prematurely and we wish him well in his recovery. Our medical staff will monitor James’ ankle over the next week to see where he lands.”
“Harry Plummer will lead the team in Dalton’s absence. Harry is captain of the Auckland Bunnings NPC side and has the respect of our team. He’s a leader within the group and we trust him with the armband this weekend.”
Plummer said it was a privilege to lead the Blues against the Western Force but was eager to point out the job at hand was getting a win on Sunday
“I was honoured when Leon asked me to take the reins this weekend,” said Plummer
“I’ve been out for a couple of weeks now, so I’m stoked to be back playing and I know the boys are keen to bounce back from last weekend and put in a tough performance against the Force.”
“We’ve got some fresh faces in the lineup and we work in a competitive environment. We all want game time so when you get a chance to perform you have to take it with both hands.”
Plummer also noted the importance of Sunday’s collection for Taniela Moa’s family.
“The Blues Alumni form an important part of our club and I hope people can dig deep this Sunday for Taniela’s children to help with their secondary school education,” said Plummer.
Despite a number of changes this weekend, Head Coach MacDonald was making no excuses heading into the weekend against the Western Force.
“Injuries and squad management are part of rugby and we pick a squad at the start of the year that can stand up to the rigours of a Super Rugby season.”
“The team we’ve picked for the Force this Sunday are there to do a job for the club. We’re under no illusions they’ll be coming here to try tip us up and we’ll be ready to meet that challenge.”
1. Joshua Fusitu'a
2. Kurt Eklund
3. Ofa Tuungafasi
4. James Tucker
5. Cameron Suafoa
6. Anton Segner
7. Adrian Choat
8. Hoskins Sotutu
9. Sam Nock
10. Stephen Perofeta
11. Mark Telea
12. Harry Plummer (c)
13. Bryce Heem
14. Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens
15. Zarn Sullivan
16. Ricky Riccitelli
17. Jordan Lay
18. Marcel Renata
19. Tom Robinson
20. Sam Darry
21. Taine Plumtree
22. Taufa Funaki
23. AJ Lam (Corey Evans)
Players not considered:
Beauden Barrett (rest), Finlay Christie (rest), Caleb Clarke (rest), Alex Hodgman (shoulder, season), Akira Ioane (knee), Rieko Ioane (rest), Nepo Laulala (rest), James Lay (ankle), Dalton Papalii (rest), Patrick Tuipulotu (knee), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (hand)