Mauger's challenge to Highlanders trialists
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has challenged the players to make the most of the final opportunity to stake claims for starting spots.
The Highlanders will host the Crusaders on a warm and sunny evening in the beautiful central Otago town of Wanaka for the annual Farmlands Cup pre-season fixture between the South Island rivals – their final outing before the season gets underway next week.
A number of players will be using this opportunity to push for a starting spot against the Sharks on February 7.
“Friday’s match is a good chance to really get our game going,” Mauger said.
“To do that we are going to have to be clinical and introduce a more physical edge to our game.”
First half team: 15 Josh Ioane, 14 Tima Fainga’anuku, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7 James Lentjes (captain), 6 Dillon Hunt, 5 Pari Pari Parkinson, 4 Josh Dickson Parete, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Nathan Vella, 1 Ayden Johnstone.
Second half team: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Kirisi Kuridrani, 13 Patelesio Tomkinson, 12 Michael Collins, 11 Scott Gregory, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Folau Fakatava, 8 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 7 Dillon Hunt (captain), 6 Zane Kapeli, 5 Jesse Parete, 4 Jack Whetton, 3 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 2 Sabastian Siataga, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: Ethan De Groot, Sione Misiloi, Aleki Morris.
Date: Friday, January 24
Venue: Wanaka Showgrounds, Wanaka
Kick-off: 18.00 (05.00 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser