Canterbury named for ITM Cup Premiership Final

Getty Images and James Mortimer     25 Oct 2013     Getty Images

The forwards are the same as played against Auckland in the Semi-Final last weekend, other than a change in the reserves as Marcel Cummings-Toone has recovered from a heel injury to return to the team.

In the backs, Johnny McNicholl has moved to the left wing, making room for Tom Taylor to come in at fullback. Rob Thompson, who started on the wing last week, is named in the reserves.

Colin Slade has recovered from the knee injury he sustained last time Canterbury met Wellington, and will also take a place on the bench for the Final.

Canterbury will be defending its Premiership title and aiming to make it six in a row. Head Coach Scott Robertson said the team knows Wellington will be a challenge, but has the belief they can do it.

“Wellington have been outstanding this season so there is no doubt they will be a big challenge on Saturday. It was a tough and close encounter last time we played. Finals create a great test of a team’s character and we are looking forward to this challenge.

“Canterbury made history last year by becoming the first provincial team to win five titles in a row. That puts us in a position this year that no other team has ever been in – the chance to make it six out of six. We intend to fully honour that opportunity on Saturday night,” Robertson said.

The Final will be played at Westpac Stadium in Wellington and kick-off is at 7:35pm.

Canterbury: Tom Taylor, Patrick Osborne, Adam Whitelock, Ryan Crotty, Johnny McNicholl, Tyler Bleyendaal, Andy Ellis, Nasi Manu, Luke Whitelock, George Whitelock (c), Luke Katene, Joel Everson, Nepo Laulala, Ben Funnell, Joe Moody. Reserves: Marcel Cummings-Toone, Dominic Bird, Jordan Taufua, Willi Heinz, Rob Thompson, Colin Slade.