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Preview: Wellington v North Harbour

27th August 2013 10:29

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Jeremy Thrush: Captains Wellington

Wellington boss Chris Boyd has made several changes to his 22-man squad for Wednesday's clash with North Harbour in Wellington.

With his side due to play two matches in four days, Boyd has opted to start stalwarts like Victor Vito, John Schwalger and Shaun Treeby on the bench for this match ahead of Sunday's encounter against Manawatu.

Vito's place at number eight will be taken by Faifili Levave, who switches from blindside flank - where he did duty in the Lions' 29-10 win over the Lions last weekend - while Schwalger is replaced at loosehead prop by Reggie Goodes and Charlie Ngatai moves from full-back to inside centre as Treeby's replacement.

In other changes, Jeremy Thrush and TJ Perenara has been released by the All Blacks and will take over from Ross Filipo and Frae Wilson at lock and scrum-half respectively. Thrush will also captain the side while Matt Proctor moves from right wing to take over from Ngatai at full-back.

Boyd has opted to bulk up his his bench with forwards, opting for a 5-2 split amongst the replacements with Wilson and Treeby the only back-line cover.

Wellington: 15 Matt Proctor, 14 Joe Hill, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Ambrose Curtis, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Faifili Levave, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Vaea Fifita, 4 Jeremy Thrush (c), 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 John Schwalger, 17 Eric Sione, 18 Kaipati Gaualofa, 19 Adam Hill, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Frae Wilson, 22 Shaun Treeby.

North Harbour: 15. James Semple, 14. Jona Tuitoga, 13. Francis Saili, 12. Tua Saseve, 11. Tevita Li, 10. Codey Rei, 9. Bryn Hall, 8. Viliami Fihaki, 7. Nepia Fox, 6. Irwin Finau, 5. Brandon Nansen, 4. Chris Smith, 3. Ropate Rinakama, 2. James Parsons (C), 1. Alex Woonton.
Replacements: 16. Adrian Smith, 17. Greg Pleasants Tate,18. Malakai Ravulo, 19. Scott Uren, 20. Luke Hamilton, 21. Jon Elrick, 22. Nafi Tuitavake

Date: Wednesday, August 28
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Richard Kelly

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