Thursday, October 16, 2008

McCaw to start against Hawke's Bay
Thursday, 16 October 2008

Richie McCaw has been brought in to start at openside flanker for Canterbury's Air New Zealand Cup semifinal against Hawke's Bay in Christchurch on Saturday night. McCaw made his return to provincial rugby via the bench in last week's comfortable quarterfinal win over Crusaders franchise partners Tasman.

But with the ante being upped this week by a Magpies side in good form, Canterbury coach Rob Penney has had no hesitation in bringing McCaw into his starting pack.
He takes over the No 7 jersey from George Whitelock, who has been named in the reserves.

Penney paid credit to Whitelock's performances this season, saying: "George has played fantastically well at openside flanker for us. His progression throughout the season has really impressed me. Richie has got the nod over him for Saturday but George will continue to play an important role on the bench."
Kieran Reid retains the captaincy though and holds on to the No 8 jersey he has been performing well in after the injury to Mose Tuiali'i.

The rest of the starting line-up is the same as that which took the field against Tasman. There are two changes in the reserves, with hooker Steve Fualau coming in for Ti'i Paulo, whose knee injury suffered against Tasman has ruled him out for the rest of the season.
In the other change, loose forward Nasi Manu comes into the squad, replacing James Broadhurst.

Manu, who has had ankle and back injuries, last played for Canterbury when coming off the bench against North Harbour in the round six victory at Albany on September 6.
He has been cleared to return after playing for the Canterbury Colts against their Auckland counterparts last weekend.

"It's great to see Nasi back. He is a special talent and has brought great enthusiasm to the group since his return," said Penney who is demanding more from his side in this do-or-die clash."We are looking for another lift in intensity across the whole squad for this match against Hawke's Bay. We beat them at AMI Stadium in the round-robin but that counts for very little now. The Magpies will be desperate to make the final and we know they will throw everything at us."

The Magpies have retained the smae starting XV that got past Waikato in last Sunday's quarter-final thriller in Npaier.Their only change comes on the bench where outside back Mark Jackman replaces Daniel Waenga.

Canterbury: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Paul Williams, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 James Paterson, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Hayden Hopgood, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Reserves: 16 Steve Fualau, 17 Owen Franks, 18 Nasi Manu, 19 George Whitelock, 20 Tyson Keats, 21 Hamish Gard, 22 Adam Whitelock.

Hawke's Bay: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Jason Kupa, 13 Jason Shoemark, 12 Sam Giddens, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Matt Berquist, 9 Danny Lee (c), 8 George Naoupu, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Michael Johnson, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Hikawera Elliott, 1 Faka'anaua Taumalolo.
Reserves: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Josh Keys, 18 Matt Egan, 19 Pama Petia, 20 Chris Eaton, 21 Aayden Clarke, 22 Mark Jackman.

Do you want me to tell you a secret?
I don't know any player from Hawke's Bay...
I'm so sorry (for them, not for me!)

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