Laumape back for Turbos
With Ngani Laumape available for his first Mitre 10 Cup match of 2018, the Turbos’ backline has an international-quality look to it for their match against Hawke's Bay in Napier on Friday night.
Laumape will play his first match since he injured his knee playing for the All Blacks against Argentina in September.
The 25-year-old has taken a slow and steady return to the field, training with the team last week.
Now fully fit, he will run-out in the No 12 jersey inside Highlanders centre Rob Thompson.
Laumape will also be aided by playing alongside Otere Black, who is starting to come back into his top form after nearly 12 months on the sideline with a knee injury of his own.
Form halfback Jamie Booth retains the No 9 jersey, while Sam Malcolm has been rewarded for his strong first-showing at fullback with a second start in No 15.
Wingers Michael Tagicakibau (hamstring) and Junior Laloifi (ankle) bounced back well from injury scares during training this week to take their places in the side.
The forward pack is unchanged aside from Brad Tucker being promoted in the place of Tom Hughes.
On the bench, hooker Tim Cadwallader returns from a calf injury to return to the team after missing their last three games and flanker Adrian Wyrill recovered from a shoulder injury to take his place on the bench.
Manawatu Turbos: 15 Sam Malcolm, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Junior Laloifi, 10 Otere Black, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Brice Henderson, 7 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 6 Liam Mitchell, 5 Brad Tucker, 4 Liam Hallam-Eames, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Sam Stewart, 1 Fraser Armstrong. Reserves: 16 Tim Cadwallader, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Sean Paranihi, 19 Samuel Slade, 20 Adrian Wyrill, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Jade Te Rure, 23 Hamish Northcott.