The Whanganui Maori team to defend the 121-year-old Tuera Shield against Taranaki Maori in New Plymouth today has been named.
The 22-man squad is predominantly the same as the side that defeated Marton Samoans 33-5 at Cooks Gardens last Saturday, although several late withdrawals from lineup have returned to join the bench.
Steelform Wanganui first-five Dane Whale will take over running the cutter at first-five for Josh Fifita, while Dale Pene comes into the starting lineup at openside flanker for last weekend's double tryscorer Dale Akuhata.
Winger Te Rangitapu McLeod and fullback Shaquille Waara have swapped positions.
Josh Hirini, Wiremu Cottrell, Cameron Davies and Grayson Tihema all rejoin the reserves.
The team is captained by centre Jaye Flaws, and will be coached by Cornell Mason and Dennis Tucker.
Whanganui won the Shield in a shock 43-12 victory over Taranaki at Cooks Gardens in October last year, claiming the taonga for the first time since 1989.
The team is
1. Blade Jones; 2. Joe Edwards; 3. Gabriel Hakaraia; 4. Christian Hawira; 5. Jack Hodges; 6. Cade Robinson; 7. Dale Pene; 8. Kieran Hussey; 9. Kahl Elers-Green; 10. Dane Whale; 11. Te Rangitapu McLeod; 12. Ethan Robinson; 13. Jaye Flaws (c); 14. Lachlan Blackstock; 15. Shaquille Waara.
Reserves: 16. Keanu Puki-Kaa; 17. Josh Hirini; 18. Tyson Tauri; 19. Wiremu Cottrell; 20. Cameron Davies; 21. Josh Fifita; 22. Grayson Tihema.