Squad chasing Heartland wins
The Manawatu Development team are not looking to try combinations, but are out to win the first game of their reincarnation against Wairarapa-Bush in Masterton tomorrow.
The Aaron Good-coached team is back off the ground for the first time since 2010 and tomorrow is the first of three games against Heartland Championship unions.
They also have six games against other development teams.
"We're not looking at it as a pre-season as such," Good said. "We want to win every game against these Heartland teams and measure ourselves against these guys.
"Is our next tier of players as good as what Wairarapa-Bush have to offer, or Horowhenua or Wanganui?"
Good, who expected Wairarapa-Bush to be a physical side, said his team had come together well and he was rapt with how they were looking. He is yet to figure out his strongest team and while everyone will play, it isn't about giving everyone a run for the sake of it.
This weekend Good is missing flanker Johnny Galloway, who is away, lock Chris Long, who is working, and flanker Cormac Chalmers, who is injured.
Old Boys-Marist loosie Rhys Pedersen will play openside flanker, while his clubmate, lock Dan Law, will captain the team.
They are using 24 players, taking an extra forward and back.
The Manawatu Cyclones women's team have their first pre-season game against Bay of Plenty in Taupo on Sunday.
Manawatu Development: 15 Osea Rokubu (Te Kawau), 14 Jordan Bunce (Kia Toa), 13 Billy Raboiliku (Feilding), 12 Brad Truesdale (College Old Boys), 11 Willie Paia'aua (COB), 10 Clayton Stew art (Varsity), 9 Ben Edwards (Old Boys-Marist), 8 Matt Gardner (COB), 7 Rhys Pedersen (COB), 6 Doug Juszczyk (Varsity), 5 Dan Law (OBM, cap tain), 4 Sam Stevens (COB), 3 Robin Praat (Varsity), 2 Cory Purton (COB), 1 Mosese Havea (Feilding). Reserves: 16 Willie Harris (COB), 17 Hakarangi Tichborne (Linton Army), 18 Cam Rutherford (Feilding), 19 Brice Henderson (COB), 20 Atu Henare (Kia Toa), 21 Isaac Winter (OBM), 22 Maleli Sau (Kia Toa), 23 Wiremu Cottrell (COB), 24 Cyrus Baker (COB).