Dan Pryor returns to the openside flanker position as Northland look to pick up a vital victory over Hawke's Bay in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Pryor is one of three changes to tomorrow's starting lineup after Northland's 25-16 defeat by Premiership side Counties-Manukau.

Dan returns in place of brother Kara, who reverts to the bench while Murray Douglas also marks his return to the starting lineup on the blindside.

Douglas' inclusion comes at the expense of in form loose forward Jack Ram, who is out of the 23 altogether.


The other personnel change sees Jack Goodhue come into second five to partner with Rene Ranger. Tamati Tua is moved to the bench after Blake Hohaia's leg injury.

There are also two positional changes to the backline with Matty Wright and Solomon Alaimalo switching positions in the back three.

Wright will line up for his first game on the wing this season while Alaimalo returns to the fullback role he has filled for the majority of the season.

Alaimalo is the only player in the Northland squad to have played every minute of their 2017 campaign, a testament to his conditioning and form.

The halves combination of Sam Nock and Peter Breen are retained after another good outing. Peter Breen, who hasn't missed a kick at goal this season, will play his blazer match against Hawke's Bay.

Dan Hawkins returns to the Northland 23 after missing the last two matches with an ankle injury suffered in the lead up to their victory over Otago.

Northland are entering the final stages of a much improved Mitre 10 Cup campaign which has garnered four wins from eight matches.

They currently sit fourth on the ladder and, with just two games left, a finals spot is on the line.

Hawke's Bay won't go down quietly despite only winning once all season as their slide continues from being relegated from the Premiership at the conclusion of the 2016 campaign.

There is danger in the Hawke's Bay lineup with one time All Black Brad Weber controlling the pace from halfback while Ihaia West is always a threat whether he plays at first five or fullback.

The battle between hookers Ash Dixon and Matt Moulds will be hard fought and will lay the foundation for the contest.

Northland will be relatively confident heading into the game but they do have a point to prove after losing three of their last four matches. The worry for Northland is the manner in which they lost, going down late after being in the match during the latter stages.

Northland do have the threats to break the game open though, including Goodhue.

Goodhue has been brilliant in his first season in the Cambridge Blue, topping the Duane Monkley Medal leaderboard after seven weeks of play.

The Player of the Year award is determined by a season-points system, with match officials picking their players of the match awarding three points, two points and one point for the game's top three performers.

Previously the provincial player of the year has been determined at the end of the season by a judging panel.

However Hawke's Bay have the second worst defensive record in the competition and with the talent Northland possesses, an all important victory is definitely on the cards.

The match kicks off tomorrow at 5.05pm.

Northland: Solomon Alaimalo, Jordan Hyland, Rene Ranger, Jack Goodhue, Matt Wright, Peter Breen, Sam Nock, Matt Matich, Dan Pryor, Murray Douglas, Tim Bond, Josh Goodhue, Ropate Rinakama, Matt Moulds (c), Ross Wright.
Reserves: Jordan Olsen, Phil Kite, Chris Apoua, Michael Faleafa, Kara Pryor, Emil Pittman, Dan Hawkins, Tamati Tua.