On the back of Auckland’s best performance of the season, Coach Paul Feeney has made just one injury-enforced change to his side to face Taranaki in New Plymouth on Friday night.
Joe Edwards returns to the starting line up in place of the injured Blake Gibson, while Nepia Fox-Matamua is promoted to the bench.
“I think the team performed well and controlled the match against North Harbour so I believe that group of players deserve another start,” said Feeney.
“We can keep those combinations together and see if we can string two good performances together.”
While Feeney is pleased with Auckland’s result last weekend he said Taranaki present a tough challenge.
“We can’t get carried away with that result.
“Taranaki is a good side that have won the last five in a row and playing them down there will be a lot harder match.”
Having not lost since Round One, Feeney said this is an important encounter.
“When you look at us, Tasman and Taranaki, we’ve all lost one and drawn one so we’re all there or thereabouts.
“I think we’re tracking reasonably nicely but we’ll find out this weekend.”
Auckland lost to Taranaki in the pre-season, 24-5.
Auckland team named to face Taranaki
Friday 26th September
Yarrow Stadium, kick off 7.35pm
1. Sam Prattley (Pakuranga)
2. Tom McCartney (Pakuranga)
3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Grammar TEC)
4. Patrick Tuipulotu (Ponsonby)
5. Liaki Moli (Manukau Rovers)
6. Joe Edwards (Pakuranga)
7. Sean Polwart (University)
8. Peter Saili (Marist)
9. Junior Poluleuligaga (Papatoetoe)
10. Gareth Anscombe (Ponsonby)
11. George Moala (Grammar TEC)
12. TJ Faiane (Pakuranga)
13. Hadleigh Parkes (Grammar TEC)
14. Ben Lam (Grammar TEC)
15. Lolagi Visinia (Suburbs)
16. Gafatasi Su’a (Ponsonby)
17. Nick Barrett
18. Jack Whetton (Grammar TEC)
19. Nepia Fox-Matamua (University)
20. Leon Fukofuka (Marist)
21. Melani Nanai (Manukau Rovers)
22. Simon Hickey (Grammar TEC)