Preview: Otago v Canterbury

Date published: August 14 2015

Canterbury have announced a strong XV that includes Patrick Osborne for their first fixture of the ITM Cup, against Otago in Dunedin on Saturday.

Head coach Scott Robertson has named a line-up that reflects the impressive performances put in by a number of players during their pre-season games.

Three players will make their ITM Cup debut if they come off the bench – hooker Nick Werahiko, back-row/lock Mitchell Dunshea, and half-back Jack Stratton. 

Outside back Marshall Suckling will take on his former Otago team-mates if he gets a run off the bench, in his first game for Canterbury in the season proper.

Meanwhile, Championship side Otago include centre Jayden Spence, flanker James Lentjes and hooker Liam Coltman in a game they enter as underdogs.

The teams:

Otago: 15 Tony Ensor, 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Jayden Spence, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Jack Wilson, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Kaide Whiting, 8 Mika Mafi, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Adam Knight, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Hisa Sasagi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Craig Millar.
Replacements: 16 Sam Anderson-Heather, 17 Donald Brighouse, 18 Scott Manson, 19 Charlie O'Connell, 20 Naulia Dawai, 21 Josh Walden, 22 Peter Breen, 23 Michael Collins.

Canterbury: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Luke Whitelock (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 JJ Manning, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Nick Werahiko, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Sione Faletau, 19 Tom Sanders, 20 Mitchell Dunshea, 21 Jack Stratton, 22 Milford Keresoma, 23 Marshall Suckling.

Date: Saturday, August 15
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 16:35 local (04:35 GMT)
Referee: Michael Lash