The Blues may be the weakest of the New Zealand Super Rugby franchises but in the past two seasons have proved to be better than some of the South African teams. The Lions know this and having seen off two fierce South African contenders will get a taste of the strength of New Zealand opposition at Ellis Park on Saturday. The Blues have yet to win a game this season but ran the Highlanders (41-34) and the Chiefs (27-21) close. There is also the serious matter for the Lions of keeping Sonny-Bill Williams on a leash. "Sonny-Bill is a world-class player but he’s not a focal point for us," said Lions backline coach Neil du Bruin. "They’ve got stars all over the park and they’ve got quality players. We’ve got to be the better collective unit. It’s that simple." De Bruin knows that disabling the dangerous Blues backs will allow the Lions to continue their decent start to the new season. More importantly‚ he knows they need to be tested against an opposition that provides something differe...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now