They were teammates and backline colleagues at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in France two months ago but Kaleb Trask and Harry Plummer will be marking each other at first five-eighth in the Mitre 10 Cup preseason match between Bay of Plenty and Auckland in Katikati this afternoon.

Trask will make his Steamers debut while Plummer, who has a contract with the Blues for Super Rugby in 2019, is about to start his second season with Auckland.

At the World Under 20 Championship, Plummer was the player mostly preferred by coach Craig Philpott in the No 10 jersey. He started in the pool matches against Wales and Australia and in the semifinal loss to eventual champions France, while the Bay of Plenty product came off the bench.

But Trask started in the big win against Japan in pool play and then again in the bronze medal match playoff against South Africa, which New Zealand lost 42-30.


Their head-to-head encounter will be an intriguing aspect of the 2.45pm match at Moore Park.

Steamers coach Clayton McMillan has paired Trask with Te Puke Sports standout Luke Campbell in the halves.

His forward pack has a full strength look about it with Chiefs Liam Polwart, Jeff Thwaites, Tyler Ardron and Mitch Karpik all starting today.

The backline is not so experienced with Trask, winger Fa'asiu Fuatai and fullback Bailey Simonsson making their first appearance for the Steamers.

But in an expanded match day squad of 24, Hurricanes halfback Richard Judd and the experienced Chase Tiatia are set to come off the bench.

Bay of Plenty have had unbeaten preseason campaign so far with wins over Manawatu, Wanganui and North Harbour.

Today's Auckland side features one All Black in Akira Ioane but the most high-profile members of the visiting contingent will be the coaches. Former All Black midfielder Alama Ieremia is head coach, while legendary Rugby World Cup winning boss Sir Graham Henry is one of his assistants, with another former All Black Filo Tiatia.

The Bay of Plenty v Auckland match will be preceded by Katikati College 1st XV against Opotiki College 1st XV at 12.30pm and a Bay of Plenty Invitational Sevens side playing a Japanese Select Women's Sevens team at 2.10pm.


Bay of Plenty Steamers v Auckland at 2.45pm Moore Park, Katikati

1. James Lay

2. Liam Polwart

3. Jeff Thwaites

4. Aaron Carrol

5. Tyler Ardron

6. Hugh Blake

7. Mitch Karpik

8. Hoani Matenga

9. Luke Campbell

10. Kaleb Trask

11. Matt Garland

12. Terrence Hepetema

13. Liam Steel

14. Fa'asiu Fuatai

15. Bailey Simonsson


16. Valentine Meachen

17. Solomona Sakalia

18. Ross Geldenhyus

19. Lars Morrice

20. Ajay Mua

21. Richard Judd

22. Trael Joass

23. Chase Tiatia

24. Tevita Mafileo