Wing Nehe Milner-Skudder is likely to start for the Manawatu Turbos in their final round-robin match against Tasman at Blenheim on Sunday.
Milner-Skudder has been cleared from his hamstring injury which has kept him off the field since injuring it in the win over Southland on September 13.
He has missed four games since then and is likely to replace Auckland loan player Leroy van Dam who will probably slot into the reserves as cover for wing and fullback.
Since Milner-Skudder is a Super Rugby prospect, notably with the Hurricanes, he needs to be seen on the field.
Last year he played every match for the Turbos. His big moment this season, which must have put him on the Super radar, was at Wellington on September 1 when he ran a ball back from fullback 75 metres out, shimmied past three Wellington defenders and sent Nic Stirzaker screaming over for the try.
Manawatu will need everyone they can get against the Championship's runaway winners, Tasman.
After Otago's win over Northland on Wednesday night, the Turbos must beat Tasman at Blenheim for the first time in the competition's history and pray Southland lose their Ranfurly Shield challenge to a full-strength Counties-Manukau at Pukekohe tonight.
It has been musical chairs between the halfbacks this season with the No 9 off the bench invariably excelling. Papa Wharewera did that when he came on 57 minutes into the Northland match, so expect him to start on Sunday and Stirzaker to be the reserve alongside van Dam and Hamish Northcott.
Lock Fraser Stone has been cleared from his neck troubles so was likely to be on the bench with Nick Crosswell again at lock after his productive match there against Northland.
It appears Chiefs wing Asaeli Tikoirotuma has played his last game for Manawatu. He has stayed training with the team but again fired few shots this season, missed too many tackles against Otago where he also injured a knee.
The Fiji national team are understood to be interested in him before returning for another season at the Chiefs. As an international player he would then become eligible to play rugby in Europe.
After coming back from the Chiefs with knee and rib injuries, again Manawatu haven't had their money's worth out of Tikoirotuma, appearing in only three games - 29 minutes against North Harbour and full games against Southland and Otago.
The Turbos will have had an 8-day break before playing at Lansdowne Park on Sunday and coach Jason O'Halloran was pleased his player rotation worked.
"The boys have been training well and are in really good spirits", he said.
"Now we've got to make sure we get ourselves up and take the referee out of it."
Possible Manawatu starting XV: 15 Lewis Marshall, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Tevita Taufu'i, 11 Newton Tudreu, 10 Jade Te Rure, 9 Papa Wharewera; 8 James Oliver, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Michael FitzGerald, 4 Nick Crosswell, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Rob Foreman, 1 Chris Eves.
- © Fairfax NZ News