Defending the Ranfurly Shield one week, playing for the development team in Piopio the next.
While it hardly sounds glamorous, that's the reality for Leighton Price and Berny Hall as they prepare to lace up their boots and face Auckland B today.
Not that the pair would be too downcast, with Auckland set to provide competition almost on par with Heartland Championship side Wanganui.
It's also a rare chance for the Taranaki development team to test themselves against traditionally one of the strongest B sides in the country, something they have not been able to do since 2008.
Their level of opponent is reflected in coach Michael Carr's selection, with the former Taranaki halfback opting for a mix of youth and experience.
That sees veteran prop Hamish Mitchell called in to the front row alongside captain Matt Goodwin and Rhys Morgan, while Price joins Trent Sutton in the second row.
The loose forward mix looks full of pace with Hall starting at openside along with No 8 Adrian Wyrill and Jono Crossan.
Carr's backline has a youthful look to it as well, with pace in the back three and strength in the midfield.
"We've tried to take a balanced approach in selection because it's nice for some of the young guys to have some experience around them," Carr said. "I think it helps their development."
Carr had been "really impressed" with the players who had dropped down from Taranaki's squad for the two Shield defences, not just Price and Hall but also Avon Lewis and Nemia Soqeta.
As for Auckland, the coach knows they will be a step up from North Harbour, who they beat 23-16 last weekend.
"I think they will play pretty similar to North Harbour," he said. "Defensively, they'll be very physical and aggressive at the breakdown and we certainly want to see more accuracy around what we do there."
He also expects Auckland to try to get behind the defensive line before spreading the ball quickly.
Kick-off at Piopio is 1.30pm.
TARANAKI DEVELOPMENT: Telly Hemopo, Avon Lewis, Josh Kendall, Ross Allan, Whaimotu Craft-Chemis, Brad Cooper, Warwick Lahmert, Adrian Wyrill, Berny Hall, Jono Crossan, Leighton Price, Trent Sutton, Hamish Mitchell, Matt Goodwin (captain), Rhys Morgan. Reserves, Abe Hira, Baxter King, Ryan Cocker, Nemia Soqeta, Jake Ward, Rick McKenna, Eddie Ule, Scott Davidson, Caleb Kahupukoro.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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