Preview: Manawatu v Counties

Date published: September 5 2014

Counties Manukau have made three changes to their starting side for their game against Manawatu in Palmerston North on Sunday.

Counties Manukau have made three changes to their starting XV for their clash with Manawatu at FMG Stadium in Palmerston North on Sunday.

Dan Hyatt returns at blindside, Michael Stanley gets his first start at fly-half and Toni Pulu returns on the left wing for Tana Umaga's outfit.

John Tu'ungafasi and Sikeli Nabou make the replacements bench and are joined by pivot Ahsee Tuala and the versatile Sherwin Stowers.

The match marks the 50th game for full-back Tim Nanai-Williams and substitutes Tuala and scrum-half Kane Hancy should they feature late on.

Coach Umaga said his side has to move on from the disappointment of the Ranfurly Shield loss last week and concentrate on the task ahead.

“The ITM Cup is a quick competition so you need to move on quickly after each match,” he told the Steelers' website.

“Manawatu have picked up some good wins, so we need to be ready for a side that will be full of confidence.”

More to follow…

The teams:

Manawatu: TBC

Counties: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams (c), 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rey Lee-lo, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Michael Stanley, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Onosa'i Auva'a, 6 Dan Hyatt, 5 Jimmy Tupou, 4 Ronald Raaymakers, 3 Jarrod Firth, 2 Suliasi Taufalele, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Sione Anga'aelangi, 17 John Tu'ungafasi, 18 Sikeli Nabou , 19 Maama Vaipulu, 20 Kane Hancy, 21 Ahsee Tuala, 22 Sherwin Stowers.

Date: Sunday, September 7
Kick-off: 14:35 local (03:35 BST, 02:35 GMT)
Venue: FMG Stadium, Palmerston North
Referee: Michael Lash