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Taylor returns for shield challenge via the bench

on Wednesday, 28 August 2019. Posted in Turbos News

Taylor returns for shield challenge via the bench

Andre Taylor will make his long awaited return to the green and white jersey via the bench as the Turbos challenge Otago for the Ranfurly Shield on Friday night.

Taylor has not played for Manawatu since 2009 and has been sidelined for the first three games of the season with a groin injury.

But the 31-year-old has been cleared for the shield challenge adding some vital experience to the Turbos team.

His return comes along with the return of fullback Sam Malcolm and the news that Jackson Hemopo will front for the Turbos having missed the All Blacks’ World Cup squad.

Rob Thompson, Fraser Armstrong, Te Rangatira Waitokia, Ben Wyness, Ben Werthmuller, Rhys Pedersen and Johnny Galloway are all unavailable through injury.

Ngani Laumape is also unavailable this week.

The injury to Pedersen in last week’s loss to Tasman has forced a reshuffle in the loose forwards with veteran Nick Crosswell shifting to openside flanker and lock Liam Mitchell moving to the blindside flank.

Towering lock Tom Hughes comes into the starting side to partner Hemopo at lock.

The front row remains the same trio who started last weekend with Fa’alelei Sione at loosehead prop and Samu Tawake at tighthead and Nick Grogan at hooker.

The backline has a settled feel with Jamie Booth and Otere Black being joined by James Tofa and Hamish Northcott.

Adam Boult and Drew Wild start on the wings.

The bench sees Paulo Leleisiuao return from his throat infection to join Sione Asi on the bench.

Stewart Cruden has also retained his spot after making his debut last week.

Manawatu Turbos: 15 Sam Malcolm, 14 Drew Wild, 13 Hamish Northcott, 12 James Tofa, 11 Adam Boult, 10 Otere Black, 9 Jamie Booth ©, 8 Sione Tu’ipulotu, 7 Nick Crosswell, 6 Liam Mitchell, 5 Jackson Hemopo, 4 Tom Hughes, 3 Samu Tawake, 2 Nick Grogan, 1 Fa’alelei Sione. Reserves: 16 Sam Stewart, 17 Sione Asi, 18 Paulo Leleisiuao, 19 Fraser Stone, 20 Brayden Iose, 21 Griffin Culver, 22 Stewart Cruden, 23 Andre Taylor