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Leali’ifano to lead Pasifika as Moana, Hurricanes confirm sides for mid-week match

Mon, 11/04/2022, 10:09 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Hurricanes hosted the Crusaders in a much anticipated clash.

Christian Leali'ifano will captain Moana Pasifika as they prepare for their final mid-week fixture against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Leali'ifano replaces fellow Wallaby Sekope Kepu as captain, who succumbed to injury during Friday's defeat to the Highlanders.

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Joe ‘Apikotoa comes into the side to replace Kepu, forming a new-look front-row alongside Abraham Pole and Samiuela Moli.

Alex McRobbie and Henry Time-Stowers return to the starting side in the back-row, with Mahonri Ngakuru set to partner Sam Slade in the second-row.

Neria Foma’i returns to the left wing in place of Timoci Tavatavanawai while Tima Fainga’anuku retains his starting position on the right, allowing Lolagi Visinia to start against his old side.

As for the Hurricanes, Jason Hollard has freshened up his squad amid the short turnaround, with Reed Prinsep to lead the side in absence of Ardie Savea.

Holland has also opted for a brand new front row as Alex Fidow and Tevita Mafileo partner hooker James O’Reilly.

Lock Isaia Walker-Leawere returns from long-term injury and partners newcomer Tom Parsons, with Prinsep joined by Blake Gibson and Devan Flanders in the back-row.

Rookie flyhalf Aidan Morgan returns to the side at flyhalf, allowing Ruben Love to start at fullback whilst Peter Umaga-Jensen and Bailyn Sullivan form a dangerous midfield combination.

Kianu Kereru-Symes and Jared Proffit are set for the debuts off the bench as the Hurricanes look to bounce back from their defeat to the Blues.

HURRICANES (1-15): Alex Fidow, James O'Reilly, Tevita Mafileo, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Tom Parsons, Reed Prinsep (c), Blake Gibson, Devan Flanders, TJ Perenara, Aidan Morgan, Salesi Raysai, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Bailyn Sullivan, Wes Goosen, Ruben Love

Replacements: Kianu Kereru-Symes, Jared Proffit, Pasilio Tosi, Justin Sangster, Te Kamaka Howden, Cam Roigard, Teihorangi Walden, Josh Moorby

PASIFIKA (1-15): Abraham Pole, Samieula Moli, Joe 'Apikotoa, Mahonri Ngakuru, Sam Slade, Alex McRobbie, Alamanda Motuga, Henry Time-Stowers, Johnathan Taumateine, Christian Leali'ifano (c), Neria Foma'i, Danny Toala, Levi Aumua, Tima Fainga'anuku, Lolagi Visinia

Replacements: Ray Niuia, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Taukiha'amea Koloamatangi, Michael Curry, Penitoa Finau, Manu Paea, Lincoln McClutchie, Henry Taefu

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