Heikell expects tough match
Two South Canterbury players have been named in the New Zealand Heartland starting XV to take on New Zealand Marist in Auckland today.
Prop Matt Fetu and second-five Fa'aitu Tuamoheloa have got the nod while hooker Nathan Tubb is named on the bench but loose forward Kali Latu has missed the 22 for the clash.
Wanganui No 7 Peter Rowe will captain the side, with four of his team-mates in the starting XV.
Head coach Grainger Heikell has named a side with a lot of rugby experience and said those named would be great representatives of the Heartland Championship.
"We've got a good scrum and are happy with the strength we've got up front.
"We've also got an impressive loose forward trio, which should produce some good ball for the backs who will hopefully run with it."
Heikell said it was going to be a tough match, up against a very good opponent.
"New Zealand Marist has ITM Cup and Heartland Championship players in the mix and are sure to provide the boys with ideal preparation ahead of our tour to Samoa."
King Country's Ben Draper has replaced injured Wanganui halfback Mat Koubaridis in the squad, after Koubaridis was ruled unfit following an injury in last weekend's Meads Cup final.
South Canterbury halfback Sekope Maea will face his team-mates after being picked for Marist for the second year in a row.
These two teams last met in 2011 in Pukekohe.
That match was won 15-14 by New Zealand Marist and nine of the Heartland side who have been named in the team were part of that match.
The game kicks off today at 12.30pm at College Rifles Rugby Club, Auckland
AT A GLANCE
Heartland XV (from 1): Matt Fetu (South Canterbury), Ngarimu Simpkins (East Coast), Shaun McDonough (Wanganui), Ben Coman (Buller), Nic Cranston (Wanganui), Sione Ngatu (Poverty Bay), Peter Rowe (c) (Wanganui), Darren Munro (Wanganui), Andrew Stephens (Buller), Mark Davis (Wanganui), Nathan Hunt (Wairarapa Bush), Fa'aitu Tuamoheloa (South Canterbury), Pomare Samupo (East Coast), Tau Moeke (East Coast), Billy Guyton (North Otago). Reserves: Nathan Tubb (South Canterbury), Ralph Darling (North Otago), Aarin Dunster (King Country), Fraser Hammond (Wanganui), Ben Draper (King Country), Brook Tremayne (Thames Valley), Lemisio Masoe (North Otago)
- © Fairfax NZ News