Hemopo starts in return to Turbos
on Thursday, 22 August 2019. Posted in Turbos News
All Black Jackson Hemopo will start at lock for the Turbos' third match of the Mitre 10 Cup season against Tasman in Blenhiem on Saturday.
The match will also see the debut of openside flanker Rhys Pedersen, who starts the match, and young first five-eighth Stewart Cruden who has been named on the bench.
Hemopo was released by the All Black selectors to play for his province. Hemopo played two games for the Turbos last season inbetween his All Black commitments.
The selection of 25-year-old brings some much needed experience into the Turbos squad which has been hammered with injuries.
Sunao Takizawa, Andre Taylor, Te Rangatira Waitokia, Rob Thompson, Sam Malcolm, Paulo Leleisiuao, Johnny Galloway, Ben Werthmuller and Ben Wyness are all unavailable due to injury or illness this week.
Two of last week's debutants, Drew Wild and Josiah Maraku, have been named to start at fullback and right wing respectively.
They are both 19 years old and paired with 20-year-old Adam Boult, must be one of the youngest, but most exciting back threes in the competition.
With Rob Thompson still nursing the injury that ruled him out of last week's fixture, the in-form Hamish Northcott will retain the centre jersey with James Tofa back at second five-eighth.
Otere Black and Jamie Booth continue their combination at first five and halfback.
Sione Tu'ipulotu gets his first start for the Turbos at No 8 with his strong ball carrying to compliment the work of Hemopo.
Tu'ipulotu is joined in the loose trio by Pedersen and veteran Nick Crosswell.
Liam Mitchell continues at lock with an unchanged front row of Fraser Armstrong, Nick Grogan and Samu Tawake.
The coaches have opted for a 6-2 forwards-backs split.
Sione Asi returns from injury for his first match of the year with Fa'alelei Sione and Sam Stewart the other front row replacements.
Lock Fraser Stone moves to the bench after starting rthe first two games, as does No 8 Brayden Iose, while fellow loose forward Sam Wasley is also on the bench.
Halfback Griffin Culver and Cruden provide cover in the backs.
Manawatu Turbo: Drew Wild, Josiah Maraku, Hamish Northcott, James Tofa, Adam Boult, Otere Black, Jamie Booth, Sione Tu'ipulotu, Rhys Pedersen, Nick Crosswell, Jackson Hemopo, Liam Mitchell, Samu Tawake, Nick Grogan, Fraser Armstrong. Reserves: Sam Stewart, Fa'alelei Sione, Sione Asi, Fraser Stone, Brayden Iose, Griffin Culver, Stewart Cruden, Sam Wasley