Waikato unchanged for home Canterbury clash

AARON GOILE
Last updated 13:35 20/08/2014
JOHNNY WALTERS
Nick Reed / Fairfax NZ
TOUGH TASK: Waikato rugby coach Johnny Walters has his work cut out keeping his team in the premiership hunt.

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Waikato have named an unchanged 22 for Friday night's NPC match against Canterbury in Hamilton.

The players - among them eight debutants - have been rewarded after a splendid 37-25 opening-round bonus-point win over Wellington in the capital, with Anton Lienert-Brown taking his place at second five-eighth, having overcome a sprained ankle sustained early in the second half of that game.

While coach Johnny Walters was delighted with the first-up performance of his troops, he has acknowledged the importance of them looking ahead.

''It was great to get a win on the board first up but we have been quick to put that behind us and shift our focus to this Friday,'' he said.

''We are committed to improving on our last performance and excited to play in front of our home crowd for the first time this year.'' Waikato will have to be firing again, as Canterbury come to Waikato Stadium on the back of a 48-9 thrashing of Auckland in Christchurch.

Friday's game kicks off at 6.05pm, with the 13th grade final the curtain raiser at 3.30pm, followed by a junior rugby march past from 4.30pm.

Gate 4 opens at 3.15pm and all other gates open at 4pm.

Waikato: Albert Nikoro, Declan O'Donnell, Jordan Payne, Anton Lienert-Brown, Joe Webber, Damian McKenzie, Brad Weber (c), Adam Burn, Zak Hohneck, Whetu Douglas, David Morgan, Nick Ross, Ben Tameifuna, Brayden Mitchell, Loni Uhila. Res: Hame Faiva, James McGougan, Josh Tyrell, Marty Holah, Harrison Levien, Wharenui Hawera, Shayne Anderson.

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