Mitchell, Booth return for preseason match
on Thursday, 18 July 2019. Posted in Turbos News
Coach Peter Russell has welcomed Hurricanes lock Liam Mitchell back to the Evergreens starting lineup for their preseason match against Taranaki in Hawera at 6pm on Friday.
The Hurricanes lock has been training with the team but took last week off from playing to rest after his debut Super Rugby season.
His return at lock helps cover the loss of Tom Hughes who will not feature again in the regular season after injuring his knee in the club rugby final.
Fellow lock Mickey Woolliams, who has been struggling with an ankle injury since last week’s match against the Defence Force, has been named on the bench.
Also making his first appearance of the season for the Turbos is first five-eighth Sam Malcolm after returning from playing for the Toronto Arrows, although he will start off the bench after battling illness.
Malcolm was one of the stars of the Turbos’ 2018 season with some impressive performances in the No 15 jersey late in the season.
Sunwolves halfback Jamie Booth returns to the side from the bench.
Varsity midfield Ueta Tufuga will have a chance to prove his worth in the No 12 jersey, starting inside Feilding's Josiah Maraku.
Tufuga and James Tofa are both on development contracts and have been locked into a tight tussle over their position in the depth chart.
Outside backs Adam Boult, Te Rangatira Waitokia and Ben Werthmuller are all dangerous attacking options.
Griffin Culver starts at halfback.
Brayden Iose continues his return from injury with a second consecutive start at No 8. The promising loose forward was strong in his first match back from a lengthy layoff last week.
Johnny Galloway and Nick Crosswell join him in the loose forwards, while Fraser Stone partners Mitchell at lock.
Up front, Paulo Leleisiuao starts at tighthead prop with Sunao Takizawa at loosehead and Sam Stewart at hooker.
Taranaki have opted to rest their Super Rugby players for the match.
Manawatu: 15 Adam Boult (Te Kawau), 14 Te Rangatira Waitokia (Varsity), 13 Josiah Maraku (Feilding), 12 Ueta Tufuga (Varsity), 11 Ben Werthmuller (OBM), 10 Stewart Cruden (COB), 9 Griffin Culver (Feilding); 8 Brayden Iose (Kia Toa), 7 Johnny Galloway (COB), 6 Nick Crosswell (Feilding), 5 Liam Mitchell (Te Kawau), 4 Fraser Stone (Kia Toa), 3 Paulo Leleisiuao (Feilding Old Boys-Oroua), 2 Sam Stewart (Te Kawau), 1 Sunao Takizawa (COB). Reserves: 16 Gene Syminton (COB), 17 Sam Tufuga (Varsity), 18 Fa'alelei Sione (Freyebrg), 19 Mickey Woolliams (Varsity), 20 Sione Tu'ipulotu (Kia Toa), 21 Sam Wasley (Feilding), 22 Jamie Booth (Varsity), 22 Drew Wild (Feilding), 24 James Tofa (COB), 25 Sam Malcolm (Varsity)