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Wellington and Manawatu Academy and Hurricanes teams in action this weekend

There are a number of positional and starting/bench changes in the Wellington Academy side that plays their Manawatu counterparts tomorrow from the team that drew with Hawke’s Bay 19-19 last week. All five Wellington players in shot here are playing in different roles tomorrow.

Two teams playing under the Hurricanes banner and the third and final match of the Hurricanes region Academy series is the rugby on this weekend for local supporters to follow.

In the main event on Saturday, the Wellington and Manawatu Academy teams meet at Massey University at 12.00pm.

The first two games in the series so far have seen Hawke’s Bay beating Manawatu 48-36 and Hawke’s Bay and Wellington drawing 19-19. This means that Wellington needs a bonus point win and to win by more than 12 points to take the series.

The teams play for the inaugural Sam Doyle Memorial Trophy, and the Hurricanes U20s team will be selected from this series. That team plays matches against their Chiefs and Crusaders counterparts in March (both away).

Wellington has made a number of changes to the team that drew with Hawke’s Bay last weekend.

Tofuka Paongo comes back into the side after nursing a minor niggle last Saturday against Hawke’s Bay, coming in for Jack O’Brien who is on the bench after also being on the bench today for the Hurricanes Development team.

Wellington have also swapped their starting wings from last Saturday, with Francis Mettrick starting on the left wing and Samanoa Euta on the right wing. Jacob Kennedy and Daniel Tafili are both on the bench.

Other changes include Leon Tuiloma swapping with Toby Mellon at hooker, Senio Sanele for Ruben Ape-Tuputala at prop and Keanu Kotuhi for Jayde Burns at starting halfback.

There are also a number of positional changes, such as Nathanial Barry and captain Jeremiah Avei-Collins swapping at openside and No. 8 and Stanley Solomon and Carlos at first five-eighth and fullback.



1 Senio Sanele
2 Leon Tuiloma
3 Salesa Seumanufagai
4 Harry Irving
5 Finn O’Sullivan
6 Connor Tuifao
7 Jeremiah Avei-Collins (C)
8 Nathaniel Barry
9 Keanu Kotuhi
10 Carlos Hihi
11 Francis Mettrick
12 Tofuka Paongo
13 Elijah Maene-Lokeni
14 Samanoa Euta
15 Stanley Solomon
16 Ruben Ape-Tuputala
17 Alex Hewitt
18 Ben Kershaw
19 Toby Mallon
20 Lennox Easthope
21 Jayde Burns
22 Jack O’Brien
23 Daniel Tafili
24 Jacob Kennedy

Unavailable due to injury : Tana Maene-Lokeni, Matolu Petaia


In Taupo, the Hurricanes Development XV takes on their Chiefs counterparts:

UPDATE: This match is being played today (Friday), kick-off 12.30pm.

The Hurricanes team kicks off against the Western Force at midnight tonight. More details about this fixture at:

Aisle be Back: The season opener in Perth


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