aucklandrugby.co.nz and James Mortimer 26.Oct.2013NZR
75-match veteran Justine Lavea has been ruled out, while dynamic flanker Charmaine McMenamin has also been side lined.
“They are two key players, along with Eloise Blackwell who was ruled out a few weeks back with a dislocated collar bone.,” said coach Kallum Adams.
Black Fern flanker Lydia Crossman moves to number 8 and Charlotte Scanlan and Leanne Thompson are promoted to start on either flank.
“Lydia will definitely step up – but it’s a big challenge for her coming up against Casey Roberston. Leanne and Charlotte are looking forward to the opportunity and all the players around them have faith in their ability,” said Adams.
What is pleasing for Adams is a fully fit back line to choose from, that has been improving week on week.
“Every week they have got better. The defence, the line speed; it’s all looking good.
“Canterbury’s strength is their back line. We are very aware that they will have improved a lot since we played them in round one but our girls love the challenge of finals footy,” said Adams.
The Canterbury Women’s team has finished top of the table to qualify, and Head Coach John Sherratt has made three changes to the starting fifteen that beat Wellington last week.
Two of those changes are in the forwards, with lock Kim Smith coming into the starting line-up and Stacey Anderson providing cover from the bench. Vicki Lee Campbell will start at openside flanker this week.
In the backs, Olivia Bird returns to the left wing and Erica Prescott moves to the reserves.
This will be the sixth time that Canterbury and Auckland have played each other in the Final, but Canterbury have not managed to win one yet. In fact, if Canterbury can beat Auckland tomorrow, it will be the first time since 2006 that Auckland has not won the championship, and only the second time since the competition began that someone other than Auckland has won.
The final will be played at Westpac Stadium (4.35pm) and is the curtain raiser to the ITM Cup Final between Wellington and Canterbury. It will be broadcast live on Sky.
1. Karina Stowers (Marist)
2. Fiao’o Fa’amausili (Marist)
3. Aldora Itunu (Ponsonby)
4. Vita Dryden (College Rifles)
5. Charlene Halapua (College Rifles)
6. Charlotte Scanlan (Ponsonby)
7. Leanne Thompson (College Rifles)
8. Lydia Crossman (College Rifles)
9. Emma Jensen (College Rifles)
10. Bella Milo (Marist)
11. Chanelle Wright (Ponsonby)
12. Onjeurlina Leiataua (Marist)
13. Claire Richardson (College Rifles)
14. Mele Hufanga (Marist)
15. Marina Apfel (Ponsonby)
16. Doris Taufateau (College Rifles)
17. Leilani Perese (Manurewa)
18. Aleisha Nelson (Ponsonby)
19. Kiritapu Demant (College Rifles)
20. Naite Faitala-Mariner (Marist)
21. Portia Woodman (Ponsonby)
22. Johana Su’a (Marist)
1 Loosehead Prop, Abby Ley
2 Hooker, Kristina Illston
3 Tighthead Prop, Stephanie Te Ohaere-Fox
4 Left Lock, Kim Smith
5 Right Lock, Leysa Matity
6 Blindside Flanker, Valerie Davis
7 Openside Flanker,Vicki Lee Campbell
8 Number Eight, Casey Robertson
9 Halfback, Kendra Cocksedge
10 First Five, Charntay Poko
11 Left Wing, Olivia Bird
12 Second Five, Tara Horsnell
13 Centre, Corrina Whiley
14 Right Wing, Dani Gaze
15 Full Back, Amiria Rule
16 Hooker, Amelia Deans
17 Prop, Jess Fibbes
18 Stacey Anderson
19 Whitney Hansen
20 Dianne Hiini
21 Jerusha Whiley