Thompson named for Turbos preseason match
Rob Thompson is set for his first game in a green and white jersey since he packed his bags for Canterbury in 2012.
The Highlanders midfielder, who signed back with his home province this year, has been named at centre for the Turbos’ final preseason match against Hawke’s Bay in Napier on Friday.
Thompson is joined by Highlanders teammate Kayne Hammington in the starting side, while Hurricanes prop Fraser Armstrong is on the bench.
Hamish Northcott has been called on to cover first five-eighth after deputising for the injured Jade Te Rure last week.
Te Rure has been cleared of serious injury but will not kit-up for the final preseason match.
James Tofa will get a run in the No 12 jersey giving the young goal-kicking wing a chance to prove his utility value.
Te Rangatira Waitokia has recovered from his knee injury and will line upon the wing.
Also back from a knee injury is captain Antonio Kiri Kiri, who will line up at openside flanker.
Turbos preseason XV v Hawke’s Bay
15 Junior Laloifi, 14 Jono Ihaka, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 James Tofa, 11 Te Rangatira Waitokia, 10 Hamish Northcott, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Brice Henderson, 7 Antonio Kiri Kiri (c), 6 Liam Mitchell, 5 Nick Crosswell, 4 Liam Hallam-Eames, 3 Sione Asi, 2 Tim Cadwallader, 1 Faalelei Sione. Reserves: 16 Sam Stewart, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Sean Paranihi, 19 Brad Tucker, 20 Sam Wasley, 21 Griffin Culver, 22 Cody Hemi, 23 Shai Wiperi