Planet Rugby

Preview: Auckland v Tasman

29th August 2014 14:28

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Steven Luatua Auckland ITM Cup 2012

Steven Luatua: Returns from All Blacks duty for Auckland

All Blacks Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua and Charles Piutau will start for Auckland in Sunday's clash with Tasman at Eden Park.

Auckland coach Paul Feeney has made just two other injury-enforced changes to his side that got a bonus point victory over Manawatu last weekend.

"We were poor against Canterbury so come away from Manawatu with five points was pleasing," he said.

"The first 20 minutes were good, in the middle 40 there were a few too many errors and we know that so I think we've made improvements but still have plenty to do."

The inclusion of Faumuina, Luatua and Piutau has been a boost to the team.

"It's great to have them," added Feeney.

"Those three inject some enthusiasm and confidence and they've been a big part of our group for a couple of years so they get along with the boys and they enjoy coming back and playing for Auckland."

The other changes see Hadleigh Parkes and Liaki Moli rested due to injury, with Francis Saili moving in to inside centre and William Lloyd promoted for his first start in an Auckland jersey.

Feeney said the high-flying Tasman will present a tough challenge on Sunday.

"We love playing at home but know Tasman is a very good side, they have attacking weapons all over the park," he explained.

They've scored something like 11 tries in two games so we know we're in for a battle."

Auckland players will celebrate Schools Day by playing in their high school's First XV socks on Sunday.

More to follow...

The teams:

Auckland: 15 Charles Piutau, 14. Ben Lam, 13 George Moala, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Vince Aso, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Junior Poluleuligaga, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Sean Polwart, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 William Lloyd, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney (c), 1 Sam Prattley.
16 Gafatasi Su'a, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Joe Edwards, 19 Nepia Fox Matamua, 20 Leon Fukofuka, 21 Lolagi Visinia, 22 Simon Hickey.

Tasman: tbc

Date: Sunday, August 31
Kick-off: 16:35 local (05:35 BST, 04:35 GMT)
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Damian Mitchelmore

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
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FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
Friday , September 26
Taranaki vs Auckland19:35
Saturday , September 27
Waikato vs Manawatu14:35
Counties Manukau vs Wellington17:35
North Harbour vs Hawkes Bay19:35
Sunday , September 28
Tasman vs Otago14:35
Canterbury vs Southland16:35
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay vs Wellington19:35
Thursday , October 2
Auckland vs Waikato19:35
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FixtureDetails
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ITM Cup
Sunday , September 21
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
Sunday , September 14
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
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PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury628
2Tasman727
3Taranaki727
4Auckland620
5Waikato715