There could well be added opportunity for bolters to force their way into the Steelform Wanganui Heartland squad for 2019 coming out of Saturday's Game of Three Halves at Cooks Gardens, with the likelihood of gaps for the August 31 representative match.

On Wednesday, the NZRU announced a 'Pasifika Challenge' event consisting of two international matches at Eden Park on August 31, which is the same day as Wanganui host their new rivals Thames Valley in the rematch of last year's 17-7 upset loss in the Meads Cup semifinals.

A New Zealand Heartland XV, chosen by new head coach Mark