World Sevens player of the year Mikkelson back for Waikato

Getty Images and James Mortimer     05 Sep 2013     Getty Images

Former Otago halfback Brad Weber, who has joined the Waikato squad for the remainder of the season, is the notable inclusion. He has been bracketed to start alongside incumbent halfback Kylem O’Donnell.

Other changes include the return to the starting lineup of flanker Jack Lam and outside backs Tim Mikkelson and Trent Renata.

Five eighth Sam Christie also returns via the bench after missing the Canterbury match and wing Semisi Masirewa drops back into the reserves after starting last week.

Waikato head coach Johnny Walters said “we are looking forward to getting back out on the field after a tough loss to Canterbury.”

“Despite the result we had our moments in that match and we feel our young side is not far off from putting in an 80 minute performance.”

The Waikato team to play Southland at Rugby Park Stadium in Invercargill this Friday (kick off 6.05pm) is:

1. Toby Smith (43)
2. Brayden Mitchell (4)
3. Ben Tameifuna (2)
4. Brian Alainu'uese (5)
5. Sam Kilgour (13)
6. Rory Grice (15)
7. Jack Lam (34)
8. Adam Burn (4)
9. Brad Weber (0) / Kylem O’Donnell (4)
10. Wharenui Hawera (3)
11. Save Tokula (51)
12. Joe Perawiti (6)
13. Jackson Willison [c] (55)
14. Tim Mikkelson (57)
15. Trent Renata (59)

16. Vance Elliott (15)
17. Paul Alo-Emile (4)
18. Nick Ross (1)
19. Jono Armstrong (12)
20. Brad Weber (0) / Kylem O’Donnell (4)
21. Sam Christie (35)
22. Semisi Masirewa (4)