Rugby: Canterbury prepare for Northland

Canterbury are preparing to take on the team from the other end of the country when they play Northland at Whangarei's Toll Stadium tomorrow night. Photo / Getty Images.
Canterbury are preparing to take on the team from the other end of the country when they play Northland at Whangarei's Toll Stadium tomorrow night. Photo / Getty Images.

After its 84-0 victory over Southland on Sunday, Canterbury are preparing to take on the team from the other end of the country when they play Northland at Whangarei's Toll Stadium tomorrow night.

Canterbury head coach Tabai Matson has made a host of changes to the starting line-up that destroyed Southland as Canterbury moved fourth place in the ITM Cup Premiership.

Wyatt Crockett returns from injury to start at loosehead prop, with Paea Fa'anunu moving to the other side of the scrum.

Other rotations in the forwards include Ben Funnell starting at hooker instead of Codie Taylor; Dominic Bird joining Joel Everson in the locking partnership; and a switch for Nasi Manu and Luke Whitelock, meaning Manu will wear the No 8 jumper.

In the backs, Andy Ellis comes into the starting line-up at halfback and Willi Heinz moves to the bench and Tom Taylor will move out to second five, making room for Tyler Bleyendaal to start at pivot.

Ryan Crotty is nursing a pectoral injury, so Belfast utility back Kolio Hifo has been brought into the reserves as cover.

Canterbury: Johnny McNicholl, Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Tom Taylor, Telusa Veainu, Tyler Bleyendaal, Andy Ellis, Nasi Manu, Matt Todd, George Whitelock (captain), Dominic Bird, Joel Everson, Paea Fa'anunu, Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Andrew Olorenshaw, Luke Katene, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Kolio Hifo, Stephen Gee.

- APNZ

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