Fredericks set for Makos' milestone

Makos loose forward Vernon Fredericks carries the ball into contact against Wellington on Sunday.
RICKY WILSON/STUFF

Makos loose forward Vernon Fredericks carries the ball into contact against Wellington on Sunday.

Makos loose forward Vernon Fredericks is poised to bring up a notable milestone on Saturday.

The versatile loose forward has been named in Tasman's starting line-up to play Otago at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, giving him the opportunity to make his 50th appearance for the country's newest provincial rugby union.

Fredericks has battled his fair share of adversity since he made his debut in 2010, particularly a potentially career-ending problem in 2015.

After being concussed in a club game in April, doctors discovered a two centimetre cyst in his brain and operated immediately. By August he had recovered sufficiently to be named in the Makos playing side, making a powerful return off the bench against Manawatu and providing one of the feel-good stories of the season.

The 26-year-old, from Marlborough's Moutere club, made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders earlier this season.

Fredericks has been included in a similar Makos team to that which overcame Wellington 37-35 in Blenheim on Sunday. The only change to the starting line-up sees lock Quinten Strange return to the middle row after a few weeks off with illness. The versatile Shannon Frizell shifts to the bench.

At this stage prop Tim Perry has been named, although his availability depends on the requirements of the All Blacks who the experienced loosehead has been training with this week. 

Nelson Griffins and Wanderers prop Drew Petelo has been brought onto the bench as front row cover. 

The backline is unchanged, providing some much-needed continuity to a side that has had to deal with disruption of various sorts all season.

Otago, while a Mitre 10 Cup championship side, are highly-rated and will provide a torrid test for Tasman, who are chasing a third consecutive win. The match kicks off at 4.35pm.

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Makos team: Will Jordan, Tima Faingaanuku, Levi Aumua, Alex Nankivell, James Lowe, Mitch Hunt, Billy Guyton; Jordan Taufua, Vernon Fredericks, Ethan Blackadder, Quinten Strange, Alex Ainley (captain), Isaac Salmon, Andrew Makalio, Tim Perry. Reserves: Ti'i Paulo, Tom Hill, Drew Petelo, Shannon Frizell, Pete Samu, Finlay Christie, Tim O'Malley, Trael Joass.

Tasman B team

The Tasman Makos B team to play fixtures against Canterbury B (September 23 in Christchurch) and Wellington B (September 30, in Blenheim) has been named.

It is: Eden Beech, Brendan Asomua-Goodman, Sam Moli, Pelefoti Saki, Drew Petelo, Quinn Harrison-Jones, Ethan Reuben, Teu Sami, Julius Togafau, Sam Liebezeit, Michael Curry, Ben Eder, Willis Scott, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidiveta, Braden Stewart, Tone Ng Shiu, Gabba de Kock, Isaiah Miller, Ben Finau, Jack Grooby, William Havili, Robbie Malneek, James Hawkey, Rupena Parkinson, Nick Foxley, Johnny Ika, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Tomas Aoake, Fletcher Matthews, Sam Chamberlain, Jamie Spowart, Glen Ballam. Unavailable: Andrew Knewstubb.

Training will be at Trafalgar Park on Tuesday, September 19 at 6.30pm. Coaches: Mark Stewart, Dan Perrin and Sam Gibbens.

 - Stuff

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