Loose forward Stacey Brown will play her 50th cap for the Counties Energy Heat when they take on Waikato in what shapes as almost a quarter-final in the Farah Palmer Cup at Navigation Homes on Saturday.
The popular Brown is the third player to register the 50-game milestone in team history – following in the footsteps of Black Ferns teammates Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu and Hazel Tubic.
Anastasia Mamea gets the start at number eight in her blazer game while Katofoekina Veainu will come off the bench in her blazer game.
Skipper Shyanne Thompson moves out to the right wing with Kataraina Enosa-Taifau selected at centre.
Waikohika Flesher moves to fullback to replace Tubic, who is on Black Ferns duty, while Leititia Vaka starts at halfback for Marino-Tauhinu.
Trinity Glassie has been named to make her Counties Energy Heat debut off the bench.
“To play 50 games in the women’s game is a huge achievement and proves Stacey’s longevity,” coach JP Faamausili said.
“Stacey has been a great player for this Union over a long period of time and deserves to be recognised for her service.
“The team will be desperate to put in a good performance – our whole season goes on the line this week so we will be chasing a win to try and make the semi-finals.”
A win over the defending champions would all but secure the Heat of a place in the semi-finals.
The match starts at 12.05pm with Tuakau College/Onewhero Area School taking on Hauraki Plains College in the 1st XV Cup final following at 2pm.
Tickets from steelers.flicket.co.nz.
Counties Energy Heat v Waikato: 1. Lauryn Steed, 2. Grace Gago, 3. Leilani Perese, 4. Rebecca Burch, 5. Paris Mataroa, 6. Stacey Brown, 7. Ti Tauasosi, 8. Anastasia Mamea, 9. Leititia Vaka, 10. Mererangi Paul, 11. Jaymie Kolose, 12. Emily Kitson, 13. Kataraina Enosa-Taifau, 14. Shyanne Thompson (capt), 15. Waikohika Flesher. Reserves: 16. Cathy Leuta, 17. Lana Samuelu, 18. Katofoekina Veainu, 19. Joanna Fanene Lolo, 20. Glory Aiono, 21. Aeron Warbrooke, 22. Ocean Tierney, 23. Trinity Glassie.
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