Two-time World Cup winner and 128-test All Black Kieran Read returns at number eight for the province’s second home game of the season – once again played under crowd restrictions due to COVID-19 settings in Auckland.
Highlanders prop Conan O’Donnell gets his first start of the season as he replaces Laulala up front while Ardmore Marist’s Alamanda Motuga will make his Steelers debut at openside flanker.
Latiume Fosita makes his first start of the season at second-five with skipper Orbyn Leger pushing out to centre.
Pukekohe winger Sione Fifita will run out on the left wing, forming a lethal back three alongside Kirisi Kuridrani and Etene Nanai-Seturo.
Joseph Casey and Leigh Hughes have been named on the bench in what will be the pair’s first Steelers games of the year while Onewhero halfback Cameron Roigard is also handed a bench spot.
The match kicks-off at 4.35pm while the unbeaten Counties Power Heat face Northland from 2.05pm.
Steelers: Etene Nanai-Seturo, Kirisi Kuridrani, Orbyn Leger (c), Latiume Fosita, Sione Fifita, Baden Kerr, Jonathan Taumateine, Kieran Read, Alamanda Motuga, Sam Slade, Matiaha Martin, Potu Leavasa, Conan O’Donnell, Zuriel Togiatama, Ezekiel Lindenmuth. Reserves: Joseph Casey, Leigh Hughes, Suetena Asomua, Mickey Wolliams, Jonathan Kawau, Cameron Roigard, Luteru Laulala, Jason Robertson.
– Counties Manukau Rugby
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