Planet Rugby

Preview: Northland v Wellington

06th September 2013 09:42

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Victor Vito claiming a ball for Wellington

50th game: Victor Vito

Wellington can make it five wins from five in this year's ITM Cup when they travel to Whangarei to face Northland.

The Lions, who have been in solid form in 2013, are led by number eight Victor Vito who joins Brad Shields and Ardie Savea in a strong back-row.

The backline for this Sunday's fixture remains unchanged, with Frae Wilson and Lima Sopoaga at nine and ten. In the pack Motu Matu'u returns.

Kaipati Gaualofa comes into the starting XV to partner with Ross Filipo in the locking duo.

Wellington defeated Manawatu 42-15 last time out and enter confident while Northland drew 33-33 in an epic clash with North Harbour.

Northland are sitting fourth in the Championship and their hopes of an upset victory have not been helped by star Fijian wing Rupeni Caucaunibuca not being named in their side.

The game will be Vito's 50th game while Northland prop Bronson Murray will play his 100th.

The teams:

Northland: 15 Mathew Wright, 14 Andrew Kavienga, 13 Rene Ranger (capt), 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Mateo Malupo, 10 Ben Seymour, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Jake Paringatai, 7 Jack Ram, 6 Dan Pryor, 5 Bryce Williams, 4 Tom Murday, 3 Scott Vessey, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Bronson Murray.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Will-Griff John, 18 Roy Griffin, 19 Owen Pihema, 20 Mac Sykes, 21 Daniel Hawkins, 22 Warren Dunn.

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

Date: Sunday, September 8
Kick-off: 16:35 local (05:35 BST, 04:35 GMT)
Venue: Toll Stadium, Whangarei
Referee: Brendon Pickerill

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