North Harbour head coach Liam Barry has named a strong team for his side's ITM Cup opener against Waikato in Albany on Sunday, with plenty of Super Rugby experience on show and seven players set to make their starting debuts.

Western Force and former Australia under-20s prop Salesi Manu forms a formidable front row with co-captains for the season in hooker James Parsons and prop Ben Afeaki.

Parsons stepped up well to Super Rugby for the first time this year with the Blues, while powerhouse Afeaki was part of the victorious Chiefs team.

No 8 Jim Tuivaiti had a solid club season with champions Western Pioneers and replaces the injured Solomon King, while there will be great interest in the new combination of New Zealand under-20s captain, and halfback, Bryn Hall and Blues first-five Michael Hobbs.


The powerful midfield combination of Blues second-five Francis Saili and former Bay of Plenty centre Cory Aporo has an explosive quality to it, with both players outstanding at breaking tackles.

Fullback Luke Devcich has experience playing at this level previously for Otago.

Harbour: Luke Devcich, David Raikuna, Corey Aporo, Francis Saili, Nafi Tuitavake, Michael Hobbs, Bryn Hall, Jim Tuivaiti, Sam Hayes-Stevenson, Malakai Ravulo, Filo Paulo, Chris Smith, Ben Afeaki, James Parsons, Salesi Manu. Reserves: Manu Leiataua, James Afoa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Irwin Finau, Brenton Helleur, Pita Ah Ki, Codey Rei.