Wind back the clock to 2009 and the exploits of the Napier Boys' High School 1st XV rugby team.
New Hawke's Bay Magpies halfback and one-test All Black Brad Weber captained that team, which won the Polson Banner in the annual fixture against Palmerston North Boys' High School, the Hurricanes title and finished fourth in the national knockout competition.
Pivotal to the side's success was the formidable 8, 9, 10 combo of Gareth Evans, Weber and Ihaia West, who are all in this season's Magpies Mitre 10 Cup squad.
"That was one of the reasons I came back, to play with those two. Lucky I signed a two-year contract ... it might happen next year," Weber said referring to a knee injury collected earlier in the season by his flatmate Evans which has ruled him out of the Magpies' campaign.
Another reason was the chance to become a third-generation Magpie like fellow newcomer to the squad, Tiaan Falcon. Weber's father Neil, who managed the Magpies from 2009-13, played 49 first-class games for the Bay from 1988-93.
Weber's grandfather, Graham, who died in 2013, played more than 20 games for the Bay from 1956-58 and also had an assistant coach role with the team.
"Dad was stoked to watch me last weekend and granddad would have been, too," Weber said.
A former Waikato and Otago rep, Weber, 25, will start for the Magpies against Taranaki in New Plymouth tomorrow after getting 28 minutes off the bench in last weekend's 36-26 loss to Wellington in Napier.
His promotion ahead of Napier Old Boys Marist clubmate Ellery Wilson and Super Rugby title-winning Hurricanes prop Ben May's inclusion for former Cane Tolu Fahamokioa at tighthead are the only changes Magpies head coach Craig Philpott has made to his starting XV.
Weber said the Magpies must treasure the ball a lot more against Taranaki than they did last week if they are to record their first Premiership win of the season.
"It was really good when we put them under a lot of pressure but we threw away a lot of possession and a couple of poor kicks cost us. With these new rules, it is tough to get the ball back."
Weber said he is enjoying combining with West again and felt the pair had worked hard to reignite the spark from their 1st XV days.
After playing for the All Blacks against Samoa in Apia last year, Weber is keen to make the ABs end-of-year tour.
"I can only control my own game and hopefully, by playing well for the Magpies, it will put me in contention," the Chiefs Super Rugby player said.
In addition to swapping halfback and tighthead prop, the only other change sees Hastings Rugby and Sports loosie Ben Hamelink replace clubmate Marino Mikaele-Tu'u.
Should Hamelink get game time, it will be his first-class debut.
Mikaele-Tu'u and Magpies prop Mason Kean will both play for the Hawke's Bay under-19s against Manawatu at Park Island tomorrow.
Unavailable for the Magpies tomorrow are All Blacks Israel Dagg and Brodie Retallick and 10 players; Evans, Brendon Edmonds, Michael Allardice, Ross Filipo, Sanaila Waqa, Trent Boswell-Wakefield, Chris Eaton, Sam McNicol, Robbie Fruean and Shannan Chase, all on the injured list.
Former Magpie Trinity Spooner-Neera has been named on the Taranaki bench after an outstanding performance for the Taranaki development team last weekend.
Former Hawke's Bay Under-20 rep Rhys Marshall will start at hooker for the hosts.
Taranaki coach Colin Cooper has made five changes to the starting XV used in last weekend's 30-22 round one win over Bay of Plenty.
Iopu Iopu-Aso replaces Mitchell Brown at No8, Isaia Tuifua is in for the injured Johnny Faauli at second five-eighth, Sean Wainui replaces All Black centre Seta Tamanivalu, Manasa Mataele, who was a threat in the pre-season game between the two provinces, starts on the left wing and Beaudein Waaka replaces Jackson Ormond on the right wing.
- In last night's Championship clash in Dunedin Otago beat Wellington 44-21.
Otago 44 (Sam Anderson-Heather, Matt Faddes, Fletcher Smith, Jack Wilson, Michael Collins tries; Smith 5 cons, 3 pens) Wellington 21 (Wes Goosen, Shaun Treeby, Matt Proctor tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 3 cons). HT: 28-0.
Taranaki v Hawke's Bay Magpies, New Plymouth, 4:35pm, Tomorrow
Hawke's Bay Magpies: Lewis Marshall, Ryan Tongia, Jonah Lowe, Billy Ropiha, Mason Emerson, Ihaia West, Brad Weber, Fa'alemiga Selesele, Tony Lamborn, Hugh Renton, Mark Abbott (vice captain), Geoff Cridge, Ben May, Ash Dixon (captain), Ricky Riccitelli.
Substitutes: Forwards, Jorian Tangaere, Jason Long, Tolu Fahamokioa, Josh Eden-Whaitiri, Ben Hamelink. Backs, Ellery Wilson, Tiaan Falcon, Matt Garland.
Taranaki Bulls: Marty McKenzie, Beaudein Waaka, Sean Wainui, Isaia Tuifua, Manasa Mataele, Stephen Perofeta, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Berny Hall, Mitchell Crosswell, Leon Power, Ben Matwijow, Mike Kainga, Rhys Marshall, Mitchell Graham.
Substitutes: Forwards, Sione Lea, Jared Proffit, Reuben O'Neill, Mitchell Brown, Toa Halafihi. Backs, Kylem O'Donnell, Declan O'Donnell, Trinity Spooner-Neera.