Preview: Taranaki v Canterbury

Date published: September 14 2012

Robbie Freuan has been recalled to the Canterbury line-up for their Ranfurly Shield clash with Taranaki at Yarrow Stadium.

Robbie Freuan has been recalled to the Canterbury starting XV for their Ranfurly Shield clash with Taranaki.

The big centre's return for young wing Johnny McNicholl means a reshuffle of the backline as Patrick Osborne swaps wings and Adam Whitelock moves out to number fourteen.

Canterbury lost their week one game against Tasman but have recovered to beat Auckland, North Harbour and most recently Wellington.

Meanwhile, Taranaki coach Colin Cooper has moved vice-captain and second-row Jason Eaton to the bench for the big Ranfurly Shield match.

Eaton has been replaced by James Broadhurst in one of only two changes to the side that beat Hawke's Bay 22-6. The other change is on the wing where a fit again Frazier Climo is in for Jackson Ormond, who also drops to the bench.

With James Marshall retaining his place at fly-half, Climo is also likely to be entrusted with the goal-kicking duties. Jack Cameron, who kicked well last week, is named on the bench.

With captain Craig Clarke back from a knee injury, Taranaki coach Cooper was always keen to rotate his quality lock, especially with the workload Eaton has endured with the 'Canes.

“As the season goes on we might get a bit more hard-nosed but they are quality locks and I've got to give them opportunities and make the harder decisions later,” Cooper said.

The teams:

Taranaki: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Willie Rickards, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 James Marshall, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Craig Clarke (capt), 3 Michael Bent, 2 Timo Tutavaha, 1 Chris King.
Replacements: 16 Sione Lea, 17 Carl Carmichael, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Chris Walker, 20 Brett Goodin, 21 Jack Cameron, 22 Jackson Ormond.

Canterbury: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock (c), 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Luke Katene, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Paea Fa'anunu, 18 Joel Everson, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Telusa Veainu, 22 Sam Monaghan.

Date: Saturday, September 15
Kick-off: 14:35 (03:25 BST, 02:35 GMT)
Venue: Yarrow Stadium
Referee: Garratt Williamson