The Bay of Plenty Steamers return home to Rotorua International Stadium to compete for the John Drake Boot and Mitre 10 Cup points when they take on Auckland at 4.35pm Sunday afternoon.

The Steamers side features a number of changes including lock Keepa Mewett, winger Elijah Nicholas and centre Lalakai Foketi.

Aidan Ross and Pingi Tala'apitaga will pack down the front of the scrum with hooker Liam Polwart. Keepa Mewett returns to the fold joining Culum Retallick in this week's locking combination. Shahn Eru moves to the blindside, with Hugh Blake and Joe Tupe remaining unchanged as the starting number seven and eight.

In the backs, Rangataua's Ruki Tipuna starts at halfback again ahead of Te Aihe Toma. Kelly Haimona will start at first five eight, with Dan Hollinshead moving to the number 22 jersey. Teddy Stanaway moves to second five-eight, with Lalakai Foketi returning from injury to start at centre.

Elijah Nicholas gets his first start of the season, after being side-lined with concussion, on the left wing with Monty Ioane remaining on the right wing. Former Rotorua Boys' High star Isaac Te Aute again start at fullback.

There is a strong bench featuring hooker James O'Reilly, props Solomona Sakalia and Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, front rower Joseph Royal and flanker Jesse Parete. Monty Ioane will join Toma and Hollinshead on the bench to make up the playing 23.

Bay of Plenty Steamers team:

1. Aidan Ross
2. Liam Polwart
3. Pingi Tala'apitaga
4. Keepa Mewett
5. Culum Retallick (c)
6. Shahn Eru
7. Hugh Blake
8. Joe Tupe
9. Ruki Tipuna
10. Kelly Haimona
11. Elijah Nicholas
12. Teddy Stanaway
13. Lalakai Foketi
14. Regan Ware
15. Isaac Te Aute

16. James O'Reilly
17. Solomona Sakalia
18. Siegfried Fisi'ihoi
19. Joseph Royal
20. Jesse Parete
21. Te Aihe Toma
22. Dan Hollinshead
23. Monty Ioane

Auckland team:


1. Tom McHugh
2. Kurt Eklund
3. Marcel Renata
4. Michael Fatialofa
5. Liaki Moli
6. Taleni Seu
7. Josh Kaifa
8. Akira Ioane
9. Jono Hickey
10. Simon Hickey
11. Joseva Ravouvou
12. Vince Aso
13. Rieko Ioane
14. Lolagi Visinia
15. Melani Nanai

16. Blake Hill
17. James Lay
18. Isi Tu'ungafasi
19. Ben Nee Nee
20. Scott Scrafton
21. Leon Fukofuka
22. Liam Steel
23. Latiume Fosita

Game day details:
Date: Sunday, September 25
Venue: Rotorua International Stadium

Curtain Raiser: Bay of Plenty Development v Waikato Development
Kick-off: 12.30pm

Curtain Raiser: Te Waiariki Under 19 v National Maori Rugby Under 18 Development
Kick-off: 2.10pm

Mitre 10 Cup: Bay of Plenty Steamers v Auckland
Kick-off: 4.35pm

Mitre 10 Cup:
Children Under 14: $5
Adults $20