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New Zealand Divisional XV team for final tour match

allblacks.com     01 Nov 2005    

The match at Churchill Park in Lautoka will kick off at 4pm local time (5pm NZ time).

Hawke’s Bay’s Michael Johnson, who sat out the game against the Air Pacific Warriors last Saturday because of a sore back, will start in the No 6 jersey. Nelson Bays’ Kahu Marfell and Mark Bright, who moves from blindside to openside flanker, complete the new-look loose forward combination.

Other changes are at halfback, where North Otago’s Ryan McCarthy takes over from Wanganui’s Lee Peina, North Otago’s Campbell Mackenzie comes in at lock for Hawke’s Bay’s Bryn Evans while props Gavin Briggs (Nelson Bays) and Clint Newland (Hawke’s Bay) complete the front row in place of Tom Symes (Hawke’s Bay) and Mike Thompson (Wanganui).

New Zealand Divisional XV coach Glenn Moore said Fiji had demonstrated their strength up front and the changes to the New Zealand Divisional XV pack were made with that in mind.

“We have decided to beef up our pack with more experience and size because it will be important to command the set pieces. I felt we competed well in this area last Saturday and we will be looking to build on that,” he said.

“We know that Fiji will throw everything at us because they have size in the forwards and speed out wide. Obviously last week’s result wasn’t good (the New Zealand Divisional XV lost 24-11 to the Air Pacific Warriors) but we have done our best to fix the things that went wrong,” Moore added.

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. Ryan McCarthy (North Otago), 8. Kahu Marfell (Nelson Bays), 7. Mark Bright (Nelson Bays), 6. Michael Johnson (captain, Hawke’s Bay), 5. Campbell Mackenzie (North Otago), 4. Hayden Triggs (Manawatu), 3. Gavin Briggs (Nelson Bays), 2. Mark Stewart (Marlborough), 1. Clint Newland (Hawke’s Bay).

Reserves: 16. Hikawera Elliot (Hawke’s Bay), 17. Mike Thompson (Wanganui) / Tom Symes (Hawke’s Bay), 18. Bryn Evans (Hawke’s Bay), 19. Mutu Ngarimu (Hawke’s Bay), 20. Lee Peina (Wanganui), 21. Rudolph Meredith (Nelson Bays), 22. Fa’aitu Tumoheloa (North Otago)