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Strong backline and four debutants for Canterbury

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crfu.co.nz     14 Aug 2014     Getty Images

Four players are in line to make their Canterbury debut, two in the starting fifteen and two in the reserves.

Prop Alex Hodgman will wear the number one jersey for his first Canterbury game, packing down alongside hooker Codie Taylor and tighthead prop Nepo Laulala. Siate Tokolahi will be providing prop cover from the bench and if he makes it on, will also earn his first Canterbury cap.

Scott Barrett will make his debut, partnering with Joel Everson at lock. The fourth potential debutant is loose forward Tom Sanders, who will provide cover for the loose forward trio of Matt Todd, Jed Brown and Luke Whitelock.

Canterbury’s new captain, Willi Heinz, will start at halfback. Tyler Bleyendaal and Tom Taylor take the five eighths spots, while Richie Mo’unga steps into the fullback role. Adam Whitelock will play at centre and Johnny McNicholl and Patrick Osborne take the wings.

Kick off at AMI Stadium is at 4:35pm on Saturday and tickets are available through Ticket Direct – www.ticketdirect.co.nz, ph. 0800 224 224 - or visit one of the ticketing outlets at The Palms, Champions of the World South City, or participating branches of The Warehouse.

Canterbury team to play Auckland:

Richie Mo'unga, Patrick Osborne, Adam Whitelock, Tom Taylor, Johnny McNicholl, Tyler Bleyendaal, Willi Heinz (c), Luke Whitelock, Jed Brown, Matt Todd, Scott Barrett, Joel Everson, Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor, Alex Hodgman.

Reserves: Ben Funnell, Siate Tokolahi, Matt Symons, Tom Sanders, Mitchell Drummond, Rob Thompson, Milford Keresoma.