aucklandrugby.co.nz 27.Aug.2012Getty Images
Captain Daniel Braid suffered a groin tear during Auckland’s opening match against Hawke’s Bay on Thursday night, and while scans revealed the injury was not as serious as first feared, he will still miss at least three to four weeks.
“We thought it could have been a lot longer than three or four weeks and that could still change over the next week or so but Daniel’s working really hard behind the scenes to get it right,” Pivac said.
“Groin injuries can take a bit of time but certainly Daniel is quite upbeat about it and the progress so far is very good.”
Sean Polwart will start in Braid’s absence, with 19-year-old flanker Sean Brookman coming onto the bench for the first time.
All Black Piri Weepu is also poised to make his first start for Aucklandafter being named in jersey number 20.
“Piri’s got a book launch on today which was pre-planned, he probably didn’t expect to be made available but he is available and he’ll get some game time off the bench but he won’t start as he’s not at training today,” Pivacsaid.
“He’ll be in for a meeting this afternoon as soon as he’s freed up so we’ll go through everything he needs to go through and we’re confident he’ll be able to do a good job for us off the bench.”
After a 16 minute lapse in concentration in the second half almost cost Auckland victory against Hawke’s Bay, Pivac has implored his side to play for the full 80 on Wednesday against a Canterbury outfit which will no doubt be seething following their loss to Tasman.
“I was really happy with the way we were fairly clinical in that first 40 minutes against Hawke’s Bay. We want to replicate that but also go in with it, particularly straight after halftime which is a very important phase of the game to get that roll on again. We weren’t able to do that against Hawke’s Bay so we’ll betrying to do that this week.”
The Auckland team to face Canterbury at AMI Stadium on Wednesday night (kick-off 7.35pm) is:
Pauliasi Manu (University)
Tom McCartney (Pakuranga)
Charlie Faumuina (Papatoetoe)
Liaki Moli (Manukau)
Andrew Van der Heijden (University)
Steven Luatua (University)
Sean Polwart (University)
Peter Saili (Marist)
Alby Mathewson (Grammar Carlton)
Gareth Anscombe (Ponsonby)
George Moala (Grammar Carlton)
Hadleigh Parkes (Grammar Carlton)
Malakai Fekitoa (Pakuranga)
Ben Lam (Grammar Carlton)
Charles Piutau (Pakuranga)
Nathan Vella (Grammar Carlton)
Angus Ta’avao (Marist)
Nathan Hughes (Suburbs)
Sean Brookman (University)
Piri Weepu (Te Papapa-Mt Wellington)
Tony Fenner (Pakuranga)
Dave Thomas (Grammar Carlton)