Young Lions named for NPC opener vs Waikato

Last updated 09:33 14/08/2014
Fa'atonu Fili
CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ
PERFECT 10: Fa'atonu Fili will start at first-five for the Lions against Waikato on Saturday.

Relevant offers

Provincial

Rugby Southland survives financial battle following big 2016 surplus Former All Black Murray Mexted says British and Irish Lions should be playing provincial unions Valley take down defending champions in North Otago club rugby Southbridge crack century in Combined Country rugby Otere Black likely to leave the Hurricanes and eyes spot at the Blues Waikato sad to see Whetu Douglas leave for Benetton Treviso after Crusaders stint Luke Jacobson follows in footsteps of All Blacks as New Zealand under-20s captain Waikato lock Brian Alainu'uese to team up with Dave Rennie after extending Glasgow Warriors deal Hawke's Bay assistant coach Danny Lee moving to Japan club scene Willy Ambaka, aka Kenyan Lomu, battling visa issue ahead of possible deal with Manawatu Turbos

Wellington Lions coach Chris Boyd has had no option but to field an inexperienced side for Saturday's NPC opener against Waikato at Westpac Stadium.

With half of his contracted players unavailable through a scarcely believable injury toll, Boyd has been forced to look to the young talent in club rugby as the Lions attempt to go one better than last season's runner-up finish.

No 8 Brad Shields - himself only 23 - will captain a starting line-up including relative no-names Leni Apisai (hooker), James Wall (lock), Christian Lloyd (lock), Vaea Fifita (blindside), Jared Kahu (halfback) and Tau Mamea (wing).

"I'm excited for this first match, and I'm excited to work with a fresh bunch of guys who are keen to get stuck in and do the work, and give everything they have for the Lions jersey," Shields said.

"Personally, I won't be changing anything in terms of the way I play. I'm just planning to stick to my game, and help the team in any way I can as their captain."

Fa'atonu Fili will wear No 10, following the season-ending injury to former British Lion Riki Flutey.

Wellington: Jason Woodward, Ambrose Curtis, Ope Peleseuma, Shaun Treeby, Tau Mamea, Fa'atonu Fili, Jared Kahu, Brad Shields (c), Adam Hill, Vaea Fifita, Christian Lloyd, James Wall, Eric Sione, Leni Apisai, Reggie Goodes. Reserves: James O'Reilly, Tolu Fahamokioa, Taniela Koroi, Henry Stowers, Sheridan Rangihuna, Wes Goosen, James So'oialo

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

What did you make of this year's ITM Cup?

It was as good a season as I can remember.

It was great to see the smaller provinces perform well.

I caught the odd game here and there.

Sorry, it was an utter snore-fest.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content