Auckland head coach Wayne Pivac has announced a 27-man squad for their ITM Cup campaign, with Kings back Hadleigh Parkes captaining the group.
The squad boasts a strong contingent of players returning from Super Rugby duties alongside a number of exciting, youngsters ready for action.
Super Rugby players Luke Braid and Sam Prattley are set to make their Auckland debut this season after previous campaigns with Bay of Plenty and Tasman respectively while Piri Weepu will look to add to the solitary Auckland cap he picked up last season.
Pivac said it was exciting to be able to name another strong squad.
"Piri obviously wasn't in our initial planning so to have him in the team is an added bonus. The experience he brings will definitely come in handy with a young first five-eighths in Simon Hickey outside of him," said Pivac to Auckland's website.
Hickey is one of three players in the squad that played in the New Zealand U20 team this season, alongside Joe Edwards, Lolagi Visinia and Patrick Tuipulotu.
Seven members of the squad are set to make their provincial debut for Auckland this season.
"We've spent a lot of time watching an exciting club rugby competition. A number of these young guys have been promoted into this team for the first time because of what we've seen at club level," said Pivac.
Of those set to debut are 18-year-olds So'otala Fa'aso'o and Vince Aso, both of whom were members of the 2012 New Zealand Secondary Schools team.
Those not considered due to injury include Gareth Anscombe (shoulder), Albert Nikoro (knee), Ben Lam (foot) and Dave Thomas (shoulder). Also unavailable are Charlie Faumuina, Keven Mealamu, Steven Luatua and Charles Piutau who are all currently with the All Blacks.
The team goes into camp this week ahead of their second and final pre-season match against Hawke's Bay. Their ITM Cup season begins against North Harbour at Eden Park on August 18.
Auckland: Tom McCartney (Pakuranga), Gafatasi Su'a (Ponsonby), Nathan Vella (Grammar Carlton), Pauliasi Manu (University), Angus Ta'avao (Marist), Sam Prattley (Pakuranga), Ofa Tu'ungafasi (Grammar Carlton), Liaki Moli (Manukau Rovers), Patrick Tuipulotu (Ponsonby), Jack Whetton (Grammar Carlton), Joe Edwards (Pakuranga), So'otala Fa'aso'o (Grammar Carlton), Luke Braid (University), Sean Polwart (University), Sean Brookman (University), Peter Saili (Marist), Piri Weepu (Maungarua), Junior Poluleuligaga (Papatoetoe), Wayne Ngaluafe (Ponsonby), Simon Hickey (Grammar Carlton), Malakai Fekitoa (Pakuranga), Hadleigh Parkes (Grammar Carlton), Vince Aso (Ponsonby), George Moala (Grammar Carlton), Tenina Sauileoge (Papatoetoe), Saleaula Silipa (Pakuranga), Lolagi Visinia (Suburbs).