SOUTHLAND HAS named an unchanged starting XV for its Ranfurly Shield defence against Counties Manukau in Invercargill tomorrow.
The Stags took the Log o’ Wood off Canterbury in Christchurch last Saturday and coach Paul Henderson has kept the faith in the same players who did the job for him in that 22-19 victory for the first defence at Rugby Park.
On the bench, James Lew has been bracketed with wing Tony Koonwaiyou.
Southland successfully defended the Shield against the Steelers last season, winning a tight game at Rugby Park 13-9.
Should it repel Counties’ challenge, they will also defend the Shield against North Harbour, Taranaki and Bay of Plenty.
Southland: Robbie Robinson, Glen Horton, Kendrick Lynn, Matt Saunders, Tim Cornforth, James Wilson, Scott Cowan, Elliot Dixon, Tim Boys, John Hardie, Joe Tuineau, Josh Bekhuis, Chris King, Jason Rutledge, Jamie Mackintosh
Reserves: David Hall, Nic Barrett, Ben Nally, Kaleni Taetuli, Sonny Rangitoheriri, Scott Eade, James Lew / Tony Koonwaiyou, Michael Peterson
There are plenty of mouth-watering clashes on offer this weekend.
Which player was unlucky to miss out on the All Blacks’ wider training squad?
Gordon Tietjens’ success in sevens is unrivalled and should place him in the same coaching league as Sir Alex Ferguson.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen named a 38-man training squad and there are a couple of oversights worth highlighting