Planet Rugby

Preview: Canterbury v Auckland

15th August 2014 07:08

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Jack Whetton Auckland v Canterbury ITM Cup 2013

Old foes: Auckland and Canterbury

Champions Canterbury will get their 2014 ITM Cup campaign underway when they host Auckland in Christchurch on Saturday.

Four players are in line to make their Canterbury debut, two in the starting fifteen and two amongst the replacements.

Prop Alex Hodgman will wear the number one jersey for his first Canterbury game, packing down alongside hooker Codie Taylor and tighthead prop Nepo Laulala. Siate Tokolahi will be providing prop cover from the bench and if he makes it on, will also earn his first Canterbury cap.

Scott Barrett will make his debut, partnering with Joel Everson at lock. The fourth potential debutant is loose forward Tom Sanders, who will provide cover for the loose forward trio of Matt Todd, Jed Brown and Luke Whitelock.

Canterbury's new captain, Willi Heinz, will start at scrum-half. Tyler Bleyendaal and Tom Taylor start at fly-half and inside centre respectively, while Richie Mo'unga steps into the full-back role. Adam Whitelock will play at outside centre and Johnny McNicholl and Patrick Osborne take the wings.

Meanwhile, Auckland coach Paul Feeney has named an experienced team for this clash. Charles Piutau has been released from the All Blacks squad to start on the wing, while Francis Saili and Gareth Anscombe both return to the Blue and White hoops.

"Gareth is back from injury, Francis is back and you've also got Charles back from the All Blacks," said Feeney.

"They're all enthusiastic and looking forward to playing alongside their mates.

12 of the starting XV were involved in the 2014 Super Rugby season.

Feeney said the team is looking forward to the big first up match.

"It's great to get Canterbury early on because it's a litmus test for us," he added.

"They're the benchmark so we'll get a great gauge on where we are at.

"I think we've had a good build up. The boys know it's a big challenge against Canterbury but that's why they play, for the big games," said Feeney.

The teams:

Canterbury: 15 Richie Mo'unga, 14 Patrick Osborne, 13 Adam Whitelock, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Willi Heinz (c), 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Jed Brown, 6 Matt Todd, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Joel Everson, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Matt Symons, 19 Tom Sanders, 20 Mitchell Drummond, 21 Rob Thompson, 22 Milford Keresoma.

Auckland: 15 Hadleigh Parkes, 14 Lolagi Visinia, 13 George Moala, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Junior Poluleuligaga, 8 Peter Saili, 7Sean Polwart, 6 Joe Edwards, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Liaki Moli,3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Gafatasi Su'a, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Will Lloyd, 19 Blake Gibson, 20 Leon Fukofuka/Wayne Ngaluafe, 21 Simon Hickey, Ben Lam/Vince Aso.

Date: Saturday, August 16
Kick-off: 16:35 local (05:35 BST, 04:35 GMT)
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Garratt Williamson

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay vs WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Preview
Thursday , October 2
Auckland vs Waikato19:35
Friday , October 3
Northland vs North Harbour19:35
Saturday , October 4
Southland vs Counties Manukau14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Otago17:35
Canterbury vs Tasman19:35
Sunday , October 5
Manawatu vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Wednesday, October 8
Counties Manukau vs Auckland19:35
Thursday , October 9
Waikato vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Friday , October 10
Otago vs Manawatu19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
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FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , September 28
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
Saturday , September 27
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Friday , September 26
Taranaki 35 - 22 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 30 Northland
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour 29 - 24 CanterburyNorth Harbour vs Canterbury Report
Sunday , September 21
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
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Premiership 2014
ITM Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Taranaki832
2Tasman832
3Canterbury830
4Auckland720
5Waikato816