Auckland head coach Paul Feeney has made four alterations to his starting line-up that will take on Bay of Plenty in Rotorua on Saturday.
Auckland head coach Paul Feeney has made four changes to his starting side that will face Bay of Plenty in Rotorua.
Youngsters Blake Gibson and Leon Fukofuka are both promoted to the XV for the first time while Ben Lam replaces the injured Vince Aso at 14.
Liaki Moli's strong cameo from the bench on Saturday also sees him return to start at lock
“Liaki's impact up front was huge for us on Saturday. His physicality, accuracy and some of those little touches were great. Blake and Leon also stood out when they came on and they should build on the confidence they would have got out of that match,” said coach Feeney.
Auckland scored 25 unanswered points to steal victory from Wellington on Saturday and Feeney says that will have given his men confidence going to Rotorua International Stadium.
“This team is pretty motivated and focussed after that second half performance,” he added.
“We showed ourselves more so than anyone else what we can do if we put together a good 40 minutes. We just need to do that from the outset. So we're looking forward to the boys reaction on Saturday coming off last week's display.”
Bay of Plenty: 15 Leroy Van Dam, 14 Tino Nemani, 13 Nick Evemy, 12 Doug Edwards, 11 Junior Tofa Va'a, 10 Te Aihe Toma, 9 Jono Kitto, 8 Carl Axtens, 7 Hamish Gosling, 6 Johan Bardoul, 5 Tim Bond, 4 Culum Retallick (c), 3 Mike Kainga, 2 Joe Royal, 1 Solomona Sakalia.
Replacements: 16 Vyron Smith, 17 Pingi Tala'apitaga, 18 Josh Sole, 19 Jesse Acton, 20 Dan Hollinshead, 21 Siaosi Iongi, 22 Byron McGuigan.
Auckland: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Ben Lam, 13 George Moala, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Leon Fukofuka, 8 Joe Edwards, 7 Sean Polwart, 6 Blake Gibson, 5 Liaki Moli, 4 William Lloyd, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Gafatasi Su'a, 17 Nicholas Barrett, 18 Scott Scrafton, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 Melani Nanai, 22 TJ Faiane.
Date: Saturday, September 13
Kick-off: 14:35 local (03:35 BST, 02:35 GMT)
Venue: Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Referee: Kane McBride