The youngsters have their chance to produce and help lift Air Chathams Wanganui from the bottom of the Furlong Cup ladder as they take on Horowhenua-Kapiti inLevin this weekend.

With the departure of player/coach Charlie Hartley to be near his ailing grandfather at home in the UK, the non-selection of Ross Kinnerely due to illness and several other changes in recent weeks, Connor and Hadleigh O'Leary and Akash Gill have an opportunity to prove their worth.

Cricket Wanganui chairman Stu Gillespie said the return of Ben Smith was also a coup.

"The Stags have freed up Ben to come back and play for us this weekend andhe's coming back from injury so will be looking to spend time at the crease and prepare for his return to the four day game (Plunket Shield)," Gillespie said.


"There is actually only one change to the side and that's resting Ross Kinnerely who hasn't scrubbed up that well after returning from a break at home in Britain. He's got a but of a cold, but we got good bowling cover in Akash Gill and Connor and Hadleigh O'Leary. They get a golden opportunity to perform.

"John McIlraith is also playing his 25th match for Wanganui earning his Baggy Cap. John is in-form at the moment and will be effective in the middle order," Gillespie said.

McIlraith made his debut for Wanganui at the end of the 2012/13 season, ironically against Horowhenua-Kapiti in an away fixture in Paraparaumu.

A highlight would be scoring 88 against Manawatu and winning first innings over them and playing against the Stags and Black Caps at Chapple Cup.

Wanganui is languishing at the bottom of the Furlong Cup table and have top team Taranaki to play at the end of the month then the final match against Wairarapa on February 16.