Mako team named for Otago pre-season
By Peter Jones [Marlborough App]
The Tasman Mako selectors gave a clearer indication of what their preferred Mitre 10 Cup starting line-up may look like when they named a team to take on Otago in Nelson on Friday in their final pre-season encounter.
The side differs in many areas from that which lost 33-24 to Canterbury in Hanmer on Saturday, the return of more contracted players adding experience and depth to an already-powerful squad.
Into the front row comes powerhouse hooker Andrew Makalio, while his Crusaders’ team mates Ethan Blackadder and Jordan Taufua slot onto the side of the scrum.
Young Welshman Declan Smith is given a chance in the No 9 jersey with Mitch Hunt back at first five, alongside midfielders Alex Nankivell and Levi Aumua.
Will Jordan and Leicester Faingaanuku form a Crusaders’ back three with skipper David Havili at fullback.
Veteran prop Wyatt Crockett joins the reserves along with another former All Black, Liam Square.
Mako team to play Otago in a pre-season match at Trafalgar Park, kick off 6pm on Friday:
1 Ryan Coxon, 2 Andrew Makalio, 3 Isaac Salmon, 4 Quin Strange, 5 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 7 Jacob Norris, 8 Jordan Taufua; 9 Declan Smith, 10 Mitch Hunt, 11 Leicester Faingaanuku, 12 Alex Nankivell, 13 Levi Aumua, 14 Will Jordan, 15 David Havili.
Reserves: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Blair Prinsep, 19 Isaiah Miller, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Tim O’Malley, 23 Jamie Spowart, Sione Havili, Fetui Paea, Tima Faingaanuku.