A number of Super Rugby players have been named to start in a Wellington XV to meet Tasman in a Mitre 10 Cup pre-season match at Blenheim’s Renwick Park on Thursday.
Hurricanes squad members Peter Umaga-Jensen, TJ Va’a, Isaia Walker-Leawere, James Blackwell and James O’Reilly join Highlanders representative Thomas Umaga-Jensen in the starting XV.
Wellington Lions head coach Chris Gibbes has made widespread changes to the starting side which faced Auckland at Evans Bay Park last Friday.
Vastly experienced No 8 Thomas Waldrom, loose forward partner Greg Foe and tighthead prop Tolu Fahamokioa return with Trent Renata moving from first five-eighth to fullback and Losi Filipo switching from the right to the left wing.
Blackwell moves from the bench after playing the second half against Auckland along with blindside flanker Galu Taufale.
Several members of the Jubilee Cup winning Old Boys University side have been named in the squad to travel to Benheim with Joel Hintz set to start with club-mates Teariki Ben-Nicholas and Dale Sabbagh set to feature off the bench.
Northern United’s Du’Plessis Kirifi, who played a prominent part in the Jubilee Cup final, has also been named in the reserves.
Thursday’s hit-out will be the last pre-season match scheduled for Wellington Lions hopefuls before Gibbes names his Mitre 10 Cup squad on Tuesday.
The Wellington Lions meet Otago at Westpac Stadium in their opening Mitre 10 Cup match on Sunday, August 19 at 2.05pm.
The Wellington XV squad to meet Tasman in Blenheim is:
15 Trent Renata (Oriental-Rongotai)
14 Tuitama Malo (Oriental-Rongotai)
13 Peter Umaga-Jensen (Wainuiomata)
12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Wainuiomata)
11 Losi Filipo (Petone)
10 TJ Va’a (Wainuiomata)
9 Kemara Hauiti-Parapara (Tawa)
8 Thomas Waldrom (Avalon)
7 Greg Foe (Poneke)
6 Galu Taufale (Poneke)
5 Isaia Walker-Leawere (Poneke)
4 James Blackwell (Petone)
3 Joel Hintz (Old Boys University)
2 James O’Reilly (Hutt Old Boys Marist)
1 Tolu Fahamokioa (Tawa)
16 Pasi Uluilakepa (Petone)
17 Sitiveni Paonga (Tawa)
18 Tietie Tuimauga (Johnsonville)
19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Marist St Pats)
20 Mateaki Kafatolu (Petone)
21 Du’Plessis Kirifi (Northern United)
22 Teariki Ben-Nicholas (Old Boys University)
23 Carlos Price (Petone)
24 Dale Sabbagh (Old Boys University)
25 Isaia Petelo (Marist St Pats)
26 Ollie Sapsford (Wellington)