The New Zealand Heartland XV has been named to play Vanua Fiji on Wednesday 6th November.
The two matches series against the New Zealand Heartland Team on the 6th of November which is to be played at Churchill Park at 7.00pm
and at Lawaqa Park on the 9th of November 2019 at 3.00pm
After a 19-29 loss to NZ Marist on Saturday, Rutene said the changes were always part of the plan as the squad plays three matches in eight days.
TEAM NAME: NZ Heartland XV
OPPOSITION TEAM: Vanua Fiji
DATE: 6th November 2019
KICK OFF: 7:00pm
Captain Brett Ranga and vice Captain Campbell Hart are the only two players to retain their starting spots in the forward pack, while Willie Paia’aua and Jaxon Tagavaitau will also back up from Saturday’s match.
South Canterbury pair Willie Wright and Miles Medlicott combine at halfback and first five-eighths while experienced front rowers Ralph Darling and Troy Tauwhare will add power up front.
“Regardless of the result on Saturday we were always going to play the all 26 players this week. We’ve got three games in eight days so need to manage the work load and get the best out of everyone.”
Rutene said the team has reflected on their loss to NZ Marist and have addressed the areas they want to improve.
“We weren’t clinical or connected enough. Marist were a good team, they were efficient and brought an intensity that a lot of our players weren’t used too.
“We didn’t have enough ball to play with and the ball we did have, we gave away. We’ve looked at our break down, how we carry into contact and how we want to defend. I think with a few more trainings under the belt we’ll be better.
“We don’t know what the Vanua team is going to bring tonight so we need to make sure we are fresh and ready to play. Most of our team began their rugby season training back in January, we’ve got two games left and we want to finish on a high,” said Rutene.
The New Zealand Heartland XV is:
|1||Ralph Darling||North Otago|
|2||Troy Tauwhare||West Coast|
|3||Tyler Kearns||West Coast|
|5||Lachie McFadzean||Wairarapa Bush|
|6||Hone Haerewa||East Coast|
|7||Nathan Kendrick||Horowhenua Kapiti|
|8||Brett Ranga – captain||Thames Valley|
|9||Willie Wright||South Canterbury|
|10||Miles Medlicott||South Canterbury|
|11||Willie Paia’aua||Horowhenua Kapiti|
|12||Jaxon Tagavaitau||Horowhenua Kapiti|
|14||Tristan Flutey||Wairarapa Bush|
|15||Himiona Henare||Horowhenua Kapiti|
|17||Carl Carmichael||King Country|
|18||Meli Kolinisau||North Otago|
|19||Seta Koroitamana||Mid Canterbury|
|20||Churlainn Mabbett-Sowerby||King Country|
|21||Robbie Smith||North Otago|
|22||Sione Holani||West Coast|
|23||Patrick Pati||North Otago|