Preview: North Harbour v Canterbury

Date published: September 22 2014

Canterbury coach Scott Robertson has made several changes to his side for Wednesday's away ITM Cup fixture against North Harbour.

Canterbury coach Scott Robertson has made several changes to his side for Wednesday's clash at North Harbour.

Following last Friday's tough win over Counties Manukau, the league leaders have decided to rotate due to the swift turnaround of fixtures.

Just one player remains from that XV in his same position as Adam Whitelock continues at outside centre, with Rob Thompson moving to the wing.

Mitchell Drummond starts at scrum-half with Willi Heinz on the bench while Tom Taylor's call up to the All Blacks squad sees Richie Mo'unga revert to number ten and Johnny McNicholl slot into the full-back jersey. Ryan Crotty returns from injury and will wear the number 12 shirt this week.

Up front, prop Alex Hodgman and hooker Codie Taylor come into the front-row, while Siate Tokolahi moves from loosehead over to tighthead prop. Sione Faletau is cover on the bench.

It is a new lock partnership of JJ Manning and Dominic Bird, with Scott Barrett providing cover from the bench, while Reed Prinsep makes his debut on the blindside alongside number seven Jed Brown, with Luke Whitelock starting at eight and will also lead the side.

More to follow..

The teams:

North Harbour: TBC

Canterbury: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Nathaniel Apa, 13 Adam Whitelock, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rob Thompson, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Luke Whitelock (c), 7 Jed Brown, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 JJ Manning, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Seb Siataga, 17 Sione Faletau, 18 Scott Barrett, 19 Nasi Manu, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Brett Mather, 22 Patrick Osborne.

Date: Wednesday, September 24
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: North Harbour Stadium