Planet Rugby

Preview: Canterbury v Auckland

27th August 2012 06:19

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Nasi Manu

Ruled out: Nasi Manu

Canterbury will be without Nasi Manu for Wednesday's big ITM Cup showdown against Auckland at AMI Stadium.

The powerhouse number eight has been ruled out of the clash in Addington after suffering an ankle strain during Canterbury's 25-22 loss to Tasman last week.

Luke Whitelock will take Manu's place at the back of the scrum with his older brother, George, wearing the number six jersey.

Joining Manu on the injured list for this round is Luke Katene, who is being rested after leaving the field with concussion last week, and Sean Maitland, who is out for the season with a ruptured tendon in his finger.

That has meant head coach Tabai Matson has had to ring the changes.

With Maitland out, Tom Taylor will shift to full-back and Ryan Crotty will join Robbie Fruean in the midfield, while up front Joel Everson will pack down with Dominic Bird at lock. Andy Ellis has been given the nod ahead of Willi Heinz at halfback and Paea Fa'anunu replaces Joe Moody.

Meanwhile, All Blacks scrum-half Piri Weepu has been named on Auckland's bench.

Weepu will act as back-up to starting number nine Alby Mathewson and is poised to join the squad late on Monday due to a booking signing function.

"Piri's got a book launch on today which was pre-planned, he probably didn't expect to be made available but he is available and he'll get some game time off the bench but he won't start as he's not at training today," said coach Wayne Pivac.

"He'll be in for a meeting this afternoon as soon as he's freed up so we'll go through everything he needs to go through and we're confident he'll be able to do a good job for us off the bench."

In the only change to Pivac's starting XV, Sean Polwart starts ahead of Daniel Braid on the flank, with 19-year-old flanker Sean Brookman coming onto the bench for the first time.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Canterbury: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Joel Everson, 4 Dom Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Paea Fa'anunu.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Michael Allardice, 19 Jed Brown, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Telusa Veainu, 22 Sam Monaghan/Rhys Llewelyn.

Auckland: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 George Moala, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Sean Polwart, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Andrew Van der Heijden, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Nathan Hughes, 19 Sean Brookman, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Tony Fenner, 22 Dave Thomas.

Date: Wednesday, August 29
Kick-off: 19:35 local
Venue: AMI Stadium

  • ITM Cup Fixtures
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FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
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FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
Saturday , August 23
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
Friday , August 22
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
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PosTeamPPts
1Canterbury210
2Tasman210
3Taranaki38
4Counties Manukau27
5Auckland25