Nelson Bays have named a predictable squad for tomorrow's Seddon Shield challenge against Marlborough at Blenheim's Lansdowne Park.
Nelson Bays beat Marlborough in the early-season Cecil Shield match 33-28, while in the corresponding Seddon Shield match in Blenheim last year, Marlborough retained the trophy with a nail-biting 9-9 draw.
The margin is expected to again be close tomorrow.
Marlborough survived another nail-biter against Buller last week, but showed in winning 37-31 that they won't let the coveted trophy go without a fierce scrap.
Nelson Bays, coached by Kahu Marfell and Gary Stevens, have plenty of experience and talent in their squad, including several former Tasman Makos players.
The side will be led by halfback Shaun Begg, with the impressive James Lash expected to guide the side around the paddock from first five-eighth. Former Makos midfielder Sione Holani will provide his usual threat at second-five.
Marlborough coaches Steve Crockett and Peter Jones have named a similar side to that which played last weekend.
Veterans Stu Campbell, George Millar and Onolevu Temo are back for more and will be hoping to guide a young, energetic side to their fifth successful defence.
Marlborough: Rawiri Tamati, Nick Pope, George Millar, Onolevu Temo, Chris Murphy, Daniel Hawkins, Daniel MacDonald, Stu Dalzell, Joe Stewart, James Pigou, Daniel Karena, Stu Campbell (cpt), Paulo Sa'u, Andrew Zuppicich, Kurt Lindsay. Subs: John Pale, Gareth Archer, Nathan Oakley or Reuben Harvey, Dan Crockett, Willie Alaiasa, Jake Cresswell, Benji Keenan.
Nelson Bays: Tema Faifua, Brenton Connell, Kim Bateman, Sione Holani, Latham Jones, James Lash, Shaun Begg (cpt), Fetu Havili, Mitchell Thwaites, Niu Taufa, Ben Sadrugu, Jarrod Aberhart, Ropate Rinakama, Logan Balsom, Michael Tyler. Subs: James Hadfield, Christian Tupula, Sam Dempster, Shane Grieve, Loui Harvey, Kaide Whiting, Farrell Mulipola or Leon Guerin.
- The Nelson Mail