Planet Rugby

Preview: Wellington v Canterbury

26th July 2011 13:12

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Canterbury after losing to Southland

Hurting: Canterbury

Second meets fourth in the ITM Cup on Wednesday as Canterbury make the trip to Westpac Stadium where they will face-off with Wellington.

With current league leaders Bay of Plenty sitting eight points clear at the top of the standings, these two outfits will be looking close the gap.

Canterbury head into the fixture hurting following losing the Log o' Wood to Southland last week while the Lions lost 17-21 at home to Auckland.

Team news sees Wellington make two changes, with Whetu Henry replacing Neemia Tialata in the front row and Brad Shields returning on the flank.

Andre Bell has named six forwards among his eight reserves for this match. Rob Penney resisted any urge to make wholesale changes after the Shield defeat although he has lost three Crusaders - George Whitelock, Matt Todd and Sean Maitland - back to the recovery room to continue their rehab after Super Rugby.

Three newcomers make the Canterbury side, with lock Joel Everson, fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal and winger Matt Thatcher all set to make their league debut.

Outside centre Robbie Freuan will be hoping to make a late surge into Graham Henry's World Cup thinking should there be any injuries during the Tri-Nations competition.

The teams:

Wellington: 15 Apoua Stewart, 14 Jason Woodward, 13 Alipate Leiua, 12 Michael Hobbs, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush (capt), 3 Whetu Henry, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Jacob Ellison.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Arden David-Perrot, 18 Api Naikatini, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Dean Brunsdon, 21 Frae Wilson, 22 Michael Lealava'a, 23 Reg Goodes.

Canterbury: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Matt Thatcher, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Mark Swanepoel, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Ash Parker (capt), 5 Joel Everson, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Andrew Olorenshaw, 2 Paul Ngauamo, 1 Paea Fa'anunu.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Nepo Laulala, 18 Reuben Thorne, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Takerei Norton, 22 Robbie Flynn, 23 Sam Cottam.

Referee: Bryce Lawrence

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