All Blacks Victor Vito and Julian Savea will bolster Wellington's starting lineup for tomorrow's NPC second round match against Hawke's Bay at Westpac Stadium.
No 8 Vito, who played the final 16 minutes of Saturday's test against the Wallabies, comes in for teenager Ardie Savea who made an impressive debut in the 30-11 win over Manawatu on Friday.
Savea's elder brother returns for wing Matt Proctor after being part of the All Blacks squad for the two trans-Tasman tests but not required for the match day 22.
In other changes, prop Arden David-Perrot replaces the injured Reggie Goodes while Lua Lokotui is promoted to start at blindside flanker for the benched Mark Reddish.
In the reserves, hooker Motu Matu'u was in a moon boot over the weekend but is hopeful of being passed fit. He is bracketed with Liu Taituave.
The Lions started in impressive style in Palmerston North against one of their recent bogey teams, and now have back-to-back home matches against Hawke's Bay, then Southland on Sunday.
Both were opening round losers; Hawke's Bay 36-29 to Auckland on Thursday and Southland 30-9 to Counties-Manukau in Pukekohe yesterday.
A smattering of All Blacks will turn out for their provinces this week.
Piri Weepu will make his Auckland debut against Canterbury on Wednesday while Charlie Faumuina will also bolster their side.
Wyatt Crockett will return to Canterbury's ranks after starting in Saturday's test.
Four current All Blacks will grace the game in Rotorua on Thursday, with Bay of Plenty including Sam Cane while Otago will have Tamati Ellison, Ben Smith and Adam Thomson.
Hooker Andrew Hore will return to the Taranaki side for their Ranfurly Shield defence against Tasman on Saturday.
Waikato and Taranaki were the most impressive of the other premiership teams, each picking up bonus-point victories.
Waikato scored six tries in rolling North Harbour 42-22 in Albany while Taranaki overcame a tricky away match against Bay of Plenty with a 37-22 win.
Captain Jason Eaton was one of their four tryscorers while Beauden Barrett also crossed, as well as adding 17 points from his accurate boot.
But it wasn't all good news for Taranaki.
Their Hurricanes fullback Andre Taylor could be out for up to six weeks after he badly broke his right index finger 20 minutes into the match.
The knuckle was smashed and had broken through the skin, ripping the nail off, while the tendon that runs through the knuckle had snapped.
The injury required surgery, which he had in Tauranga on Saturday night. Two pins were inserted, which will remain in place for four weeks.
Shield challengers Tasman were the talk of the first round after they upset Canterbury 25-22 in Nelson and will travel to New Plymouth with some confidence.
In the second-tier championship, Otago were the most impressive with a 46-34 home win over Northland while Tana Umaga's Counties-Manukau were too good for Southland, who were held try-less.
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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