Preview: Southland v Counties

Date published: October 3 2014

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Counties Manukau boss Tana Umaga has made two changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s clash with Southland in Invercargill.

Counties Manukau boss Tana Umaga has made two changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s clash with Southland in Invercargill.

Sikeli Nabou replaces injured lock Ronald Raaymakers and Tim Nanai-Williams comes back in at full-back to replace Sherwin Stowers who is away on Sevens duty.

The captaincy arm band will be worn by experienced loose forward, Onosa’i Auva’a.

Prop Sam Aiono, lock Viliami Rarasea and loose forward Dan Hyatt, who was out last week with a minor ankle injury will take their place in the reserves.

“Both sides are coming off good wins, so it will be a good match up,” said Umaga.

“In the past we have not had much luck in Southland so we want to turn that round as we begin our three matches in eight days.”

Meanwhile, influential Southland fly-half Lima Sopoaga will miss the game at Rugby Park as he will be attending a family wedding.

Jamie Verran comes into the XV at number ten, with Scott Eade remaining at scrum-half.

The teams:

Southland: 15 Mark Jackman, 14 Bryan Milne, 13 Cardiff Vaega, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Otulea Katoa, 10 Jamie Verran, 9 Scott Eade, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Tim Boys, 6 John Hardie, 5 Craig Smith, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 JP Koen, 2 Tua Tuapati, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (capt).
Replacements: 16 Dillan Halaholo, 17 Morgan Mitchell, 18 Michael Fatialofa, 19 Alex Taylor, 20 Tayler Adams, 21 Junior Ngaluafe, 22 Keanu Kahukura.

Counties: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rey Lee-lo, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Ahsee Tuala, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Onosa’i Auva’a (c), 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Jimmy Tupou, 4 Sikeli Nabou, 3 Jarrod Firth, 2 Suliasi Taufalele, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Sione Anga’aelangi, 17 Sam Aiono, 18 Sean Bagshaw, 19 Viliami Rarasea, 20 Dan Hyatt, 21 Kane Hancy, 22 Andy Murihead.

Date: Saturday, October 4
Kick-off: 14:35 local (03:35 BST, 02:35 GMT)
Venue: Rugby Park, Invercargill
Referee: Brendon Pickerill

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