Planet Rugby

Preview: Auckland v Canterbury

26th September 2013 11:35

Share:

Ryan Crotty for Canterbury

50 up: Ryan Crotty

Canterbury coach Scott Robertson has made seven changes to his starting line-up ahead of Saturday's clash with Auckland at Eden Park.

In the front-row, the props alternate from Paea Fa'anunu and Sione Faletau to Joe Moody and Nepo Laulala after their 72-7 win over Manawatu.

Matt Symons steps into the second-row position alongside Joel Everson, and Luke Katene takes a spot on the replacements bench for the fixture.

George Whitelock is back at number seven and will also captain the side.

In the backline, Willi Heinz swaps with Andy Ellis at nine while Adam Whitelock returns to centre, which allows Ryan Crotty to move back into 12.

Crotty will also mark a significant milestone on Saturday, playing his 50th game for Canterbury, with Robertson delighted for his impressive centre.

"Crotts is such a Canterbury stalwart," he said. "He is a superb player, but also an outstanding team man. His team-mates hold him in such high regard and they will be determined to make him proud when they join him for his fiftieth match on Saturday night."

Meanwhile, Auckland head coach Wayne Pivac has made three changes to the starting XV for Saturday's home clash.

In the absence of Piri Weepu who is away with the All Blacks in Argentina, Wayne Ngaluafe starts at scrum-half while Tenina Sauileoge is named on the right wing in place of the injured Vince Aso.

After coming off the bench to make his Auckland debut last week, Kara Pryor will start at openside as Sean Polwart switches to the blindside to replace the injured Joe Edwards.

Pivac said he was looking forward to watching the athletic Pryor in action in such a big match.

"Kara is very quick - you could throw him on the wing because he's got a lot of pace," he said.

"He pops up in all the right places, he's not overly big in stature but certainly he punches above his weight. He got a start in the pre-season and played very well and he got an opportunity to come off the bench in a bit of a cameo last week so it's going to be interesting to see how he goes and he's certainly looking forward to the challenge."

With Edwards (dislocated shoulder), Aso (hamstring strain) and Patrick Tuipulotu (broken jaw) all out for the season, youngsters So'otala Fa'aso'o and Melani Nanai will get the opportunity to make their Auckland debuts after being named on the bench.

Pivac said the depth of his squad would certainly be tested against the Red and Blacks.

"It's a frustration and just the nature of the game, you can't do anything about it," he said.

The teams:

Auckland: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Tenina Sauileoge, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Hadleigh Parkes (capt), 11 George Moala, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Wayne Ngaluafe, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Sean Polwart, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 So'otala Fa'aso'o, 19 Sean Brookman, 20 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 21 Junior Poluleuligaga, 22 Melani Nanai.

Canterbury: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Patrick Osborne, 13 Adam Whitelock, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Milford Keresoma, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 George Whitelock, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Matt Symons, 4 Joel Everson, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Paea Fa'anunu, 18 Luke Katene, 19 Jordan Taufua, 20 Andrew Ellis, 21 Rob Thompson, 22 Jamie Verran.

Date: Saturday, September 28
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Nick Briant

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39