SPORTS

Men To Watch

A typical New Zealand derby played in a place where the Fijians love rugby- Chiefs coach Colin Cooper We can deliver anytime, anytime- Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger Fijian-born Pulse Energy
30 Jun 2018 10:00
Men To Watch
Fijian- born Pulse Energy Highlanders wing, Waisake Naholo during their Captain’s Run at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on June 29, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
  • A typical New Zealand derby played in a place where the Fijians love rugby- Chiefs coach Colin Cooper
  • We can deliver anytime, anytime- Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger

Fijian-born Pulse Energy Highlanders wing Waisake Naholo and Chiefs first five-eighth Damian McKenzie are the men to watch in tonight’s Super Rugby clash at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.

Co-captain Ash Dixon told SUNsports yesterday that Naholo who is playing his 50th Super Rugby match is all pumped up for action as he plays for the first time at home in the Highlanders colours.

While McKenzie heads into tonight’s clash in a rich vein of form after delivering a superb attacking performance for the All Blacks in their Test against France in Dunedin last Saturday. McKenzie contributed 24 points in the All Blacks’ 49-14 victory courtesy of two tries and seven conversions and will be keen to continue where left off in that match when he takes on the Highlanders.

But the prospect of playing in Suva does not faze Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger.

“We have known since the start of the year we were playing the Chiefs in Suva and we know to be a consistent team we have to be able to perform at any time, in any conditions, anywhere,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity; the team is focussed on delivering a good performance for our supporters and the rugby public of Fiji.” When approached Chiefs boss Colin Cooper expects an entertaining game, with the Chiefs ready to embrace the challenge.

“The weather in Fiji is going to be great for two teams desperate to win,” he said.

“It’s going to be an entertaining game, a typical New Zealand derby played in a place where the Fijians love rugby. We are ready to embrace the challenge.”

 

LINE-UP

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (cc), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (cc), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Alex Ainley, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Richard Buckman

Damian McKenzie

Damian McKenzie

Chiefs: 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe

Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitch Karpik, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

 

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Paul Williams

Assistant Referees: Jamie Nutbrown, James Doleman.

TMO: Shane McDermott

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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