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New Zealand Divisional XV team for tour opener

allblacks.com     26 Oct 2005    

The 19-year-old winger was today included in the side for the opening match of the team’s tour of Fiji against the Air Pacific Warriors in Nadi.

Masaga, who was today named in the Chiefs’ Rebel Sport Super 14 squad, is one of four players in the starting line-up who will make their New Zealand Divisional XV debut. The other three are Hawke’s Bay first five Daniel Waenga, lock Bryn Evans and prop Tom Symes. Three other newcomers to the team were named on the bench. They are Hawke’s Bay hooker Hikawera Elliot and North Otago’s Ryan McCarthy and Fa’aitu Tumoheloa.

Hawke’s Bay No 8 Mutu Ngarimu takes over the captaincy from his provincial team mate Michael Johnson, who is suffering from a sore back.

New Zealand Divisional XV coach Glenn Moore said while he did not know much about tomorrow’s opponents, he expects a familiar Fijian approach to the game.

“We expect this side to select reserves from the Fiji national squad so they will be physical up front with pace in the backs. Tomorrow’s game will be a good match up ahead of next week’s international against Fiji,” Moore said.

Tomorrow’s match kicks off at 3pm local time (4pm NZ time). The final tour match is against Fiji in Lautoka on Wednesday 2 November at 4pm local time (5pm NZ time).

New Zealand Divisional XV team: 15. Robbie Malneek (Nelson Bays), 14. Lelia Masaga (Counties Manukau), 13. Aaron Bancroft (Marlborough), 12. Davis Norman (Hawke’s Bay), 11. Tim Manawatu (Counties Manukau), 10. Daniel Waenga (Hawke’s Bay), 9. Lee Peina (Wanganui), 8. Mutu Ngarimu (captain, Hawke’s Bay), 7. Tafai Ioasa (Hawke’s Bay), 6. Mark Bright (Nelson Bays), 5. Bryn Evans (Hawke’s Bay), 4. Hayden Triggs (Manawatu), 3. Tom Symes (Hawke’s Bay), 2. Mark Stewart (Marlborough), 1. Mike Thompson (Wanganui).

Reserves: 16. Hikawera Elliot (Hawke’s Bay), 17. Clint Newland (Hawke’s Bay), 18. Campbell Mackenzie (North Otago), 19. Kahu Marfell (Nelson Bays), 20. Ryan McCarthy (North Otago), 21. Rudolph Meredith (Nelson Bays), 22. Fa’aitu Tumoheloa (North Otago)