Bay of Plenty head coach Clayton McMillan has named a strong, experienced side for Friday's first pre-season game against Northland at Whakatane's Rugby Park.

The side features eight new caps including Scottish International Hugh Blake and All Blacks Sevens squad member Isaac Te Aute.

Jeff Thwaites, Sabastian Siataga and Aidan Ross will pack down the front row of the scrum with locks Troy Callander and Shahn Eru making up the tight five.

Debutants Jesse Parete and Hugh Blake will be joined by experienced campaigner Joe Tupe to complete the forward pack.The explosive backline will see the introduction of a new nine-ten combination from Te Puke Sports.


Luke Campbell will debut at half back with Dan Hollinshead to lead the team at fly half with Terrence Hepetema and local Whakatane centre Elijah Nicholas completing the midfield.

Lalakai Foketi and Te Aute will take their place on their respective left and right wings with Whakarewarewa fullback Te Rangi Fraser completing a talented backline.

The Whakatane public will be treated to a great display of secondary school girls' rugby with Te Whare Kura O Ruatoki taking on Opotiki College in the curtain raiser match at 1pm ahead of the feature match at 3pm.

Bay of Plenty Steamers v Northland

1. Aidan Ross
2.Sabastian Siataga
3.Jeff Thwaites
4.Troy Callander
5.Shahn Eru
6.Jesse Parete
7.Hugh Blake
8.Joe Tupe
9.Luke Campbell
10.Dan Hollinshead
11.Elijah Nicholas
12.Terrence Hepetema
13.Lalakai Foketi
14.Isaac Te Aute
15.Te Rangi Fraser

16.Leigh Hughes
17.Pingi Tala'apitaga
18.Solomona Sakalia
19.Keepa Mewett
20.Ruki Tipuna
21.Matty Axtens
22.Henry Stowers
23.Kelly Haimona
24.Chase Tiatia