Exciting young side named for Turbos' first preseason match of 2018
The Manawatu Turbos coaching staff have rewarded club form with the naming of their first preseason team for 2018 to take on the Hawke’s Bay Saracens.
Coaches Jeremy Cotter and Aaron Good named five contracted players in their starting XV, handing a host of players who have been starring in club rugby the opportunity to push their case for a spot in the squad.
“It is an opportunity for the boys to put their hand up," Cotter said. "We have been training for quite a while as a wider training group, so it is nice to put some stuff out there on the paddock.
“It is about guys showing some intent, being decisive in their actions and getting a taste of rugby at a higher level that what they have at club rugby.”
Hooker Tim Cadwallader, flanker Liam Mitchell, first five-eighth Ben Wyness, wing James Tofa and midfielder Hamish Northcott are the contracted players starting the match, while fellow contracted players hooker Sam Stewart, prop Sean Paranihi and first five-eighth Jade Te Rure are on the bench.
Paranihi will have to get clearance from concussion to take the field so his spot on the bench is bracketed with academy player Taumutu Afemui-Nohotima.
Experienced Turbo Nick Crosswell will start the match at lock after making his return from a neck injury for Feilding on Saturday. He is partnered by hardworking Varsity second-rower Mickey Woolliams.
Sean Rankin, who has been in good form for Feilding, along with last season’s Manawatu Under 19 prop Gene Syminton will start at prop.
The bench includes two of this season's standout No 8s in club rugby Jackson Iose and Sam Wasley.
Kia Toa’s Atu Henare has been named at halfback but will have to pass a fitness test after an injury on Saturday. Feilding’s Griffin Culver is on the bench, while Tobias Wickham-Manuel will be added if Henare is unavailable.
There is plenty of competition for places in the back three.
The likes of Feilding Old Boys-Oroua’s Shai Wiperi, who was named at centre, and young-guns Cody Hemi and Awatere Kiwara have plenty to play for after being handed starts.
Speedster Adam Boult and 2016 Turbo Luther Hirini are on the bench with FOB-Oroua’s Junior Laloifi and Kia Toa’s Jono Ihaka both injured.
Not considered due to injury, suspension or Super Rugby commitments were Te Rangatira Waitokia, Junior Laloifi, Jono Ihaka, Ueta Tufuga, Ben Werthmuller, George Macpherson, Liam Hallam-Eames, Brice Henderson, Antonio Kiri Kiri, Otere Black, Jamie Booth, Fraser Armstrong, Brayden Iose, Ngani Laumape, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Michael Alaalatoa, Aaron Smith, Jackson Hemopo, Rob Thompson and Kayne Hammington.
- Sean Rankin (Feilding)
- Tim Cadwallader (COB)
- Gene Syminton (COB)
- Mickey Woolliams (Varsity)
- Nick Crosswell (Feilding)
- Liam Mitchell (Te Kawau)
- Tyler Moeau (FOBO)
- Jordan Stewart (Te Kawau)
- Atu Henare (Kia Toa)
- Ben Wyness (Feilding)
- James Tofa (COB)
- Hamish Northcott (Varsity)
- Shai Wiperi (FOBO)
- Awatere Kiwara (COB)
- Cody Hemi (Varsity)
Reserves: Sam Stewart (Te Kawau), Sean Paranihi (FOBO)/ Taumutu Afemui-Nohotima (Kia Toa), Jackson Iose (Kia Toa), Sam Wasley (Feilding), Griffin Culver (Feilding), Jade Te Rure (Kia Toa), Luther Hirini (OBM), Adam Boult (Te Kawau).