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
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale13:00
Castres vs Leinster15:15
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles19:45
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Brive vs Zebre19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade FrancaisTBC
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615