Planet Rugby

Preview: Taranaki v Auckland

06th September 2013 10:15

Share:

Piri Weepu

Starts: Piri Weepu

Auckland head coach Wayne Pivac has made five changes to his line-up for Saturday's clash with Taranaki in New Plymouth, with Piri Weepu in the XV.

A number of those changes are injury enforced, while a short three-day turnaround between fixtures has prompted coach Pivac to act.

Blues props Sam Prattley and Angus Ta'avao come into the front-row in place of Pauliasi Manu and Ofa Tu'ungafasi, while Luke Braid starts at openside ahead of Sean Polwart who has had a heavy workload over the last few games.

Junior Poluleuligaga dislocated his shoulder against Counties Manukau on Wednesday so veteran All Black scrum-half Piri Weepu claims the number nine jersey, while Vince Aso will make his first start for Auckland in place of George Moala who has a quad haematoma.

Sevens star Orene Ai'i has turned back the clock and is poised to make his first appearance for Auckland since 2005 after being named on the bench, with coach Pivac admitting that playing their third ITM Cup game in seven days posed a big challenge for his side.

"It would have been a lot bigger had we dropped the Bay of Plenty game or the Counties game or both, so getting a couple of wins and not playing as well as we would have liked as a group the guys are pretty determined to get down there and put together an 80 minute performance," he said.

"We're against the odds with a three day turnaround and having to travel down there against a Taranaki team that's hurting. It's a must-win game for them so it's going to be a good occasion."

Meanwhile, Taranaki have made three changes to the starting side which beat Southland in Invercargill last Saturday. Ryan Cocker will make his ITM Cup debut as tighthead prop, Doug Tietjens will start at openside flank and Seta Tamanivalu gets a run at outside centre.

The teams:

Taranaki: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Jackson Ormond, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Isaia Tuifua, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Daniel Brooks, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Doug Tietjens, 6 Kane Barrett (capt), 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Ryan Cocker, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Carl Carmichael.
Replacements: 16 Timo Tutavaha, 17 Sione Lea, 18 Mitchell Crosswell, 19 Berny Hall, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Rick McKenna, 22 Ope Peleseuma.

Auckland: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Hadleigh Parkes (capt), 11 Tenina Sauileoge, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Joe Edwards, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Gafatasi Su'a, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Jack Whetton, 19 Sean Polwart, 20 Wayne Ngaluafe, 21 Orene Ai'i, 22 Saleaula Silipa.

Date: Saturday, September 7
Kick-off: 14:35 local (02:35 BST, 01:35 GMT)
Venue: Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth
Referee: Chris Pollock

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
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
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00