Niko Jones named for first Auckland appearance while Blues star Taniela Tele'a set for first game back from injury
Auckland travel to Inglewood for their Round 5 clash with Championship team Taranaki this Saturday afternoon.
Head Coach, Alama Ieremia has made various changes to the 23 travelling to New Plymouth. The Blue and White Hoops will be on the road for the second week in a row after their 20-16 victory over Bay of Plenty in Rotorua. Ieremia has taken some lessons from his team’s implementation on the field last Friday.
“This week we have another away fixture that will test us. At times last week we played some good rugby, but we know we could’ve executed a lot better in other areas” said Ieremia.
Two Auckland Rugby Academy graduates will be given their chance off the bench this Saturday in Taranaki. Ponsonby Hooker, Soane Vikena and Waitemata Loose Forward, Niko Jones will be in line for their Auckland debut for Saturday’s fixture.
Harry Plumer will move into the first-five position while Simon Hickey will be hoping to inject some energy from the bench later in the game.
Marist Utility Back, Taniela Tele’a will make his first appearance of the season for the Blue and White’s in the 23 jersey. Salesi Rayasi has been named on the left wing after scoring both of Auckland’s trys in their victory over The Steamers.
Head Coach, Alama Ieremia will be looking for a full 80-minute performance and is aware of what Taranaki can bring to the table.
“We are facing an injured Bulls team who will be hurting from last week and we all know what happens when you deal with an angry Bull. The team is excited about the challenge and it’s an opportunity for some players to express their skills – we need to be better than last week.”
Kickoff is at 2:05pm on Saturday from TET Stadium, Taranaki.
Auckland: Jordan Traino, AJ Lam, Tumua Manu, TJ Faiane (c), Salesi Rayasi, Harry Plummer, Taufa Funaki, Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa, Blake Gibson, Adrian Choat, Jack Whetton, Scott Scrafton, Marcel Renata, Leni Apisai, James Lay. Reserves: Soane Vikena, Jarred Adams, Marco Fepulea’i, Hamish Dalzell, Niko Jones, Jonathan Ruru, Simon Hickey, Tanielu Tele’a.
– Auckland Rugby