New Zealand Heartland XV for last tour match named     11 Nov 2006

Coach Ross Cooper and assistant coach Peter Russell have made three changes and two positional switches for the team’s final match, which kicks off at 12.30pm (NZ time).

Of the changes, Wairarapa Bush loose forward Sam Henderson comes in at No 6, Wanganui’s Logan Vaughan takes over at centre and North Otago’s Scott Mayhew will start the match on the right wing.

In positional switches, King Country’s Aarin Dunster moves from No 6 to lock and North Otago’s Karne Kaufana switches from centre to second five-eighth.

Cooper said the team was determined to finish the tour on a winning note after the loss against Tucuman.

“This match presents a very exciting challenge for us. The local conditions are foreign to our players: it is very warm and the kick-off has been pushed back to 8.30pm because of the heat. We’ve also eased up on training to allow the players to freshen up.

“We expect a torrid battle up front, especially as Argentina A will be selected largely from the very top sides in the local provincial competition. However, in both of our previous games our pack has matched up well,” Cooper said.

Cooper said the team had made great strides on tour. “We will have to play extremely well to win, but the team will be well prepared and motivated. This is an international and that is how we are approaching it,” Cooper explained.

“It’s a rare honour to wear the black jersey against another country, especially for these heartland players, and I know the guys are determined to play well.”

New Zealand Heartland XV for match against Argentina A: 1. Mike Thompson, 2. Joe Harwood (captain), 3. Dylan Higgison, 4. Aarin Dunster, 5. Daniel Aldworth, 6. Sam Henderson, 7. Peter Rowe, 8. Tom Solomon, 9. Daniel Morath, 10. Scott Leighton, 11. Faaitu Tuamoheloa, 12. Karne Kaufana, 13. Logan Vaughan, 14. Scott Mayhew, 15. Patrick Rimene.

Reserves: 16. Ryan Tohaia, 17. Hayden Rasmussen, 18. William Hallgarth 19. Sylvanus Iro, 20. Hamish McKenzie, 21. Nathan Riwai-Couch, 22. Kahu Tamatea.