Canterbury will take the Ranfurly Shield on the road this week, as they look to defend the Log o’ Wood against Mid Canterbury in Ashburton on Friday.

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Head Coach Glenn Delaney has named his side for their second defence of the 2017 season, which includes four debutants;  wing Josh McKay will debut in the starting line up, while Ben Morris, Nigel Gibb and Amanaki Nicole could all earn their first appearance for Canterbury off the bench. Prop Alex Hodgman and loose forwards Jed Brown and Tom Sanders return from Super Rugby duty to join the starting fifteen.

Delaney said the Canterbury side is looking forward to taking the Shield on the road: “Mid Canterbury have had a strong showing in the Heartland Championship, and they will no doubt be looking forward to their first Shield challenge for a couple of years.

“This Friday’s defence will be on their home ground, so that is an exciting test for us and a great opportunity to bring Ranfurly Shield rugby to Ashburton”, Delaney said.

Mid Canterbury were beaten semi-finalists for the Lochore Cup in the 2016 Mitre 10 Heartland Championship. Their last challenge for the Ranfurly Shield was against Hawke’s Bay back in 2015.

The match will kick off at 2:35pm, Friday 4 August, at Ashburton Showgrounds.

Canterbury team to play Mid Canterbury:

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1.  Alex Hodgman
2.  Nathan Vella
3.  Jack Straker
4.  Jonno Osborne
5.  Hamish Dalzell
6.  Billy Harmon
7.  Jed Brown
8.  Tom Sanders
9.  Jack Stratton (C)
10. Brett Cameron
11. Marshall Suckling
12. Michael Green
13. Poasa Waqanibau
14. Josh McKay*
15. Mark Maitland

RESERVES
16. Nick Werahiko
17. Chris Gawler
18. Joel Hintz
19. Ben Morris*
20. Dylan Nel
21. Ereatara Enari
22. Nigel Gibb*
23. Amanaki Nicole*

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