ITM Cup strugglers Auckland find themselves in a must-win situation early on in the competition as they prepare to tackle Southland at Eden Park on Wednesday.
Auckland have found themselves at the bottom of the ITM Cup Premiership table after suffering three losses in their opening four matches.
Following the 2007 champions latest defeat to Taranaki, Auckland coach Mark Anscombe knows his team has to start firing immediately if they are to avoid relegation.
"We had a good recovery yesterday, meetings with the leadership group and also a good team chat now," he said.
"We know what's required and what we need to do. We've dug ourselves this hole and we're the ones that have to get ourselves out of it."
Southland will be out to bury their hosts when they make the trip to Auckland, after enjoying back-to-back wins in the tournament. After beating Canterbury to win back the Ranfurly Shield, the Stags then defended the Log o' Wood thanks to a 22-14 victory over Counties-Manukau.
In team news, Southland's John Hardie, Josh Bekhuis and Kendrick Lynn are all rested for Wednesday's Round 5 hit-out. Several other key players, including regular skipper Jamie Mackintosh, are on the bench.
Meanwhile, a spate of injuries to Auckland's loose forwards has seen two new players promoted to the squad.
With captain Daniel Braid (neck injury) Peter Saili (rib cartilage damage), Onosa'i Auva'a (knee injury) and Sean Polwart (small partial tear in his tuadricep tendon) all ruled out, Auckland have all but exhausted their loose forward stocks.
20-year-old former King's College and Blues U18 captain Sam Henwood has been drafted into the squad and will make his debut at openside flanker, while last year's Auckland Premier Club Rugby best and fairest player, Ben Masoe, will provide cover on the bench.
There are four personnel changes to the starting XV. Auckland captain Tom McCartney shifts from hooker to loosehead prop, making way for Ash Dixon to start in the middle of the scrum.
Josh Townsend has overcome a broken bone in his small toe to slot back in at lock alongside Steven Luatua, while Francis Saili shifts out to the wing in place of Charles Piutau as Teddy Stanaway moves into midfield.
The last time these two teams met, Southland edged Auckland 9-6 in Invercargill. However, Southland have not won at Eden Park since 1939.
Auckland: 15 Brent Ward, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 Teddy Stanaway, 11 Francis Saili, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Chris Lowrey, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Nathan Hughes, 5 Josh Townsend, 4 Steven Luatua, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Tom McCartney (c).
Replacements: 16 Pauliasi Manu, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Richard Haddon, 19 Ben Masoe, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Piers Francis, 22 George Moala, 23 Angus Ta'avao.
Southland: 15 Glen Horton, 14 Kade Poki, 13 James Lew, 12 James Wilson, 11 Tony Koonwaiyou, 10 Scott Eade, 9 Sonny Rangitoheriri, 8 Kaleni Taetuli, 7 Tim Boys, 6 Tom Chamberlain, 5 Joe Tuineau, 4 Ben Nally, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Micheal Peterson.
Replacements: 16 David Hall, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Michael Fatialofa, 19 Elliot Dixon, 20 Scott Cowan, 21 Matt Saunders, 22 Robbie Robinson, 23 Nic Barrett.
Referee: Vinny Munro