Highlanders Named to Play Moana Pasifika at Mount Smart
29 March 2023
Head Coach Clarke Dermody has named a team with few changes and welcomes back four forwards from the injury list.
The only change to the starting forward pack sees the well performed Hugh Renton (who withdrew in the warm-up of last Saturday’s win against the Fijian Drua) return at the back of the scrum. However, it’s a different story on the bench with the naming of six forwards including All Black Shannon Frizell whol is fit to return alongside Marino Mikaele-Tu’u and Andrew Makalio.
In the backs, Thomas Umaga-Jensen and Connor Garden Bachop replace the injured Jake Te Hiwi and Martin Bogado. Fetuli Paea stays at centre and Sam Gilbert at fullback after spending much of last week’s game in the midfield.
Dermody knows that Moana Pasifika present a significant challenge to the Highlander’s hopes of securing a third win in a row. “We played them in the preseason and there wasn’t much in it, they have significant threats in their backs and forwards, and it will be a difficult assignment Friday night against a team hungry for success and playing at home”.
Highlanders v Moana Pasifika - 7:05pm Friday 31st March, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
- Ethan de Groot
- Leni Apisai
- Jermaine Ainsley
- Pari Pari Parkinson
- Will Tucker
- Sean Withy
- Billy Harmon (C)
- Hugh Renton
- Aaron Smith
- Mitch Hunt
- Jonah Lowe
- Thomas Umaga-Jensen
- Fetuli Paea
- Connor Garden-Bachop
- Sam Gilbert
Reserves: 16. Andrew Makalio 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown 18. Saula Ma’u 19. Max Hicks 20. Shannon Frizell 21. Folau Fakatava 22. Cameron Millar 23. Marino Mikaele Tu’u
Not Available due to injury: Vili Koroi (knee) Marty Banks (groin) Jona Nareki (foot) Scott Gregory (knee) Jeff Thwaites (back) Freddie Burns (knee) Fabian Holland (hamstring) Rhys Marshall (concussion) Josh Timu (concussion) Jake Te Hiwi (ankle) Martin Bogado (quad)