Moana Pasifika halfback Jonathan Taumateine has been named to make his first start of the NPC season as the PIC Steelers prepare to head to Invercargill to face Southland on Sunday.
Taumateine replaces in-form halfback Cameron Roigard, who is not in the matchday squad this week after a brutal workload of late.
Liam Daniela is promoted to the bench as halfback cover.
Regular starting locks William Furniss and Samuel Slade return after missing Wednesday night’s loss to Taranaki, with Alex McRobbie shifting back to the side of the scrum.
Ahsee Tuala handles the fullback role with AJ Alatimu returning to second five.
Prop Mark Royal has been named on the bench and will earn his blazer should he take to the field.
Manurewa loose forward Thor Manase has been named on the bench and will make his PIC Steelers debut if he takes the field.
Sunday’s game against Southland is the third game in a week for the PIC Steelers side.
PIC Steelers v Southland: 1. Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 2. Zuriel Togiatama, 3. Suetena Asomua, 4. William Furniss, 5. Samuel Slade, 6. Alex McRobbie, 7. Adam Brash, 8. Sam Tuifua, 9. Jonathan Taumateine, 10. Riley Hohepa (capt), 11. Peniasi Malimali, 12. AJ Alatimu, 13. Nikolai Foliaki, 14. Tevita Ofa, 15. Ahsee Tuala. Reserves: 16. Ioane Moananu, 17. Mark Royal, 18. Lionel Evans, 19. Jadin Kingi, 20. Thor Manase, 21. Liam Daniela, 22. Esau Filimoehala, 23. Nua Soti.
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