Official team lists and injury news for this week's provincial rugby championship games.
BAY OF PLENTY V AUCKLAND
7pm Friday, October 2
Rotorua International Stadium
Bay of Plenty: 1-Tevita Mafileo, 2-Nathan Vella, 3-Jeff Thwaites, 4-Kane Le'aupepe, 5-Aaron Carroll (c), 6-Zane Kapeli, 7-Mitch Karpik, 8-Joe Tupe, 9-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 10-Otere Black-11-Chase Tiatia, 12-Scott Curry, 13-Regan Ware, 14-Emoni Narawa, 15-Kalen Trask
Reserves: 16-Nic Souchon, 17-Jordan Lay, 18-Ross Geldenhuys, 19-Keepa Mewett, 20-Joe Johnson, 21-Leroy Carter, 22-Mathew Skipwith-Garland, 23-Joe Webber
Aaron Carroll moves to lock and will captain the side, while Zane Kapeli moves from openside to blindside flanker to cater the return of Mitch Karpik.
In the backs, Otere Black returns at first five, while Chase Tiatia shifts from the midfield to the wing, with All Blacks Sevens captain Scott Curry at second-five. Emoni Narawa is named on the right wing in his 15th Mitre 10 Cup game.
Auckland: 1-Jarred Adams, 2-Leni Apisai, 3-Angus Ta'aavao, 4-Scott Scrafton, 5-Jack Whetton, 6-Adrian Choat, 7-Blake Gibson, 8-Waimana Reidlinger-Kapa, 9-Taufa Funaki, 10-Simon Hickey, 11-Salesi Rayasi, 12-TJ Faiane, 13-Tumua Manu, 14-AJ Lam, 15-Jordan Trainor
Reserves: 16-Mike Sosene-Feagai, 17-Marcel Renata, 18-James Lay, 19-Hamish Dalzell, 20-Sione Tuipulotu, 21-Jonathan Ruru, 22-Harry Plummer, 23-Zarn Sullivan
Auckland have made just one change to their side, with lock Hamish Dalzell coming onto the bench for All Black Patrick Tuipulotu, who will be in camp for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup series.
Dalzell would make his Mitre 10 Cup debut if he gets onto the field.
COUNTIES MANUKAU V MANAWATU
2pm Saturday, October 3
Navigation Homes Stadium, Pukekohe
Counties Manukau: 1-Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 2-Zuriel Togiatama, 3-Conan O'Donnell, 4-Mickey Woolliams, 5-Matiaha Martin, 6-Jonathan Kawau, 7-Alamanda Motuga, 8-Sam Slade, 9-Jonathan Taumateine, 10-Baden Kerr, 11-Tevita Nabura, 12-Latiume Fosita, 13-Orbyn Leger, 14-Kirisi Kuridrani, 15-Etene Nanai-Seturo
Reserves: 16-Donald Maka, 17-Clinton Malolua, 18-Suetena Asomua, 19-Viliame Rarasea, 20-Dylan Leckner, 21-Pele Cowley, 22-Jason Robertson, 23-Luteru Lalala
Highlanders wing Tevita Nabura will make his first start of the season for Counties, after recovering from a knee injury. Loose forward Jonathan Kawau comes back into the starting side, for former All Blacks captain Kieran Read, who is unavailable.
Chiefs hooker Donald Maka is poised for his first appearance of the season off the bench, after picking up a concussion and hamstring injury in the pre-season.
Manawatū: 1-Chris Eves, 2-Sam Stewart, 3-Michael Alaalatoa, 4-Liam Mitchell, 5-Micaiah Torrance-Read, 6-TK Howden, 7-Shamus Hurley-Langton, 8-Tyler Laubscher, 9-Jamie Booth (c), 10-Ben Wyness, 11-Ben Werthmuller, 12-James Tofa, 13-Josiah Maraku, 14-Te Rangatira Waitokia, 15-Nehe Milner-Skudder
Reserves: 16-Siua Maile, 17-Tietie Tuimauga, 18-Kyle Stewart, 19-Teofilo Paulo, 20-Johnny Galloway, 21-Bryn Wilson, 22-Stewart Cruden, 23-Drew Wild
Front-rowers Chris Eves and Sam Stewart have been promoted to the starting side, while lock Liam Mitchell returns from injury. Tyler Laubscher shifts to No.8, with TK Howden getting his first career start at blindside flanker.
Ben Wyness replaces Stewart Cruden at first-five and Josiah Maraku is back at centre in place of Nigel Ah Wong. Changes on both wings see Ben Werthmuller returning from injury and Te Rangatira Waitokia given the start in his blazer game.
NORTHLAND V TARANAKI
4:30pm Saturday, October 3
Semenoff Stadium, Whangarei
Northland: 1-Ross Wright, 2-Jordan Olsen, 3-Coree Te Whata-Colley, 4-Josh Goodhue, 5-Temo Mayanavanua, 6-Tom Robinson, 7-Kara Pryor, 8-Matt Matich, 9-Sam Nock, 10-Dan Hawkins, 11-Scott Gregory, 12-Blake Hohaia, 13-Rene Ranger, 14-Pisi Leilua, 15-Matthew Wright
Reserves: 16-Paddy Atkins, 17-Luatangi Li, 18-Kalolo Tuiloma, 19-Sam Caird, 20-Rob Rush, 21-Will Grant, 22-Johnny Cooper, 23-Jone Macilai
Five Northland players feature in milestone games, headlined by prop Ross Wright, who will play his 100th Mitre 10 Cup match.
Flanker Kara Pryor, halfback Sam Nock and fullback Matthew Wright - Ross' brother - will all play their 50th provincial games, while Rob Rush will make his debut off the bench.
Northland have made a handful of changes to their side with prop Wright and loose forward Matt Matich coming into the starting side, while in the backs Scott Gregory and Pis Leilia come onto the wings.
Taranaki: 1-Reuben O’Neill, 2-Bradley Slater, 3-Ben May, 4-Josh Lord, 5-Findlamor Hoeata, 6-Tom Florence, 7-Lachlan Boshier, 8-Kaylum Boshier, 9-Lisati Milo-Harris, 10-Stephen Perofeta, 11-Lewis Ormand, 12-Daniel Waite, 13-Sean Wainui, 14-Jacob Raumaitayuki-Kneepkens, 15-Jayson Potroz
Reserves: 16-Ricky Riccitelli, 17-Jared Proffit, 18-Donald Brighouse, 19-Pita Gus Sowakula, 20-Mitchell Crosswell, 21-Kylem O'Donnell, 22-Codey Rei, 23-Lukas Halls.
Bulls coach Willie Rickards has been forced into changes as Taranaki look to bounce back from last weekend's shock Ranfurly Shield defeat.
In the backs, Stephen Perofeta will start at first-five, swapping places with Jayson Potroz at fullback, while Daniel Waite comes into the midfield for co-captain Tei Walden, who will miss the rest of the season with an Acillies injury.
In the forwards, Ben May returns to the front row, with Reuben O'Neill switching from tighthead to loosehead prop, while Findlamor Hoeata replaces Tupou Vaa'i - who is on All Blacks duty - at lock, as Tom Florence comes in at blindside flanker.
CANTERBURY V WELLINGTON
7pm Saturday, Otober 3
Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch
Wellington: 1-Xavier Numia, 2-James O’Reilly, 3-Alex Fidow, 4-James Blackwell, 5-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 6-Vaea Fifita, 7-Du’Plessis Kirifi, 8-Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 9-Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, 10-Jackson Garden-Bachop, 11-Julian Savea, 12-Vince Aso, 13-Peter Umaga-Jensen, 14-Wes Goosen, 15-Billy Proctor
Reserves: 16-Tyrone Thompson, 17-Ben Aumua-Peseta, 18-Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe, 19-Caleb Delany, 20-Mateaki Kafatolu, 21-Connor Collins, 22-Trent Renata, 23-Pepesana Patafilo
Coach Leo Crowley has made three changes to his starting XV, describing this line-up as perhaps his most experienced possible.
Former All Black Julian Savea returns on the wing, prop Alex Fidow has recovered from concussion and hooker James O'Reilly gets his first Mitre 10 Cup appearance this season.
Canterbury: 1-Finlay Brewis, 2-Shilo Klein, 3-Oli Jager, 4-Luke Romano, 5- Mitchell Dunshea, 6-Reed Prinsep (c), 7-Tom Christie, 8-Tom Sanders, 9-Mitchell Drummond, 10-Fergus Burke, 11-Manasa Mataele, 12-Rameka Poihipi, 13-Ngatungane Punivai, 14-Chay Fihaki, 15-Josh Mckay
Reserves: 16-Scott Mellow, 17-Fletcher Newell, 18-Tamaiti Williams, 19-Sam Darry, 20-Billy Harmon, 21-Ereatara Enari, 22-Brett Cameron, 23- Isaiah Punivai
The red-and-blacks make seven changes after their last-minute loss to Hawkes Bay last weekend.
In the forwards, former All Blacks lock Luke Romano returns to the starting side, along with loosies Tom Christie and captain Reed Prinsep, who are both coming off impressive Super Rugby seasons.
In the backs, speedster Chay Fihaki comes onto the right wing for his first Mitre 10 Cup start, with Josh McKay returning to fullback. Fergus Burke gets an opportunity at first-five, with Brett Cameron slipping back to the bench.
NORTH HARBOUR V TASMAN
2pm Sunday, October 4
North Harbour Stadium
North Harbour: 1-Nic Mayhew, 2-Luteru Tolai, 3-Sione Mafileo, 4-Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5-Jacob Pierce, 6-Ethan Roots (cc), 7-Tim Sail, 8-Murphy Taramai, 9-Bryn Hall, 10-Bryn Gatland (cc), 11-Tomas Aoake, 12-Antonio Mikaele -Tu'u, 13-James Little, 14-Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, 15-Shaun Stevenson
Reserves: 16-Zane Turner, 17-Teague McElroy, 18-Jimmy Roots, 19-Xavier Cowley-Tuioti, 20-Tamarau McGahan, 21-Lewis Gjaltema, 22-Jared Page, 23-Kade Banks
North Harbour have made a handful of changes to their side with Murphy Taramai starting at No.8 in the only change to the forward pack.
In the backline Bryn Hall returns at halfback and there's some movement in the midfield and outside backs asTomas Aoake comes in on the win and Antonio Mikaele – Tu'u claims the second-five spot
Tasman: 1-Isi Tu'ungafasi, 2-Andrew Makalio, 3-Isaac Salmon, 4-Alex Ainley, 5-Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 6-Jacob Norris, 7-Sione Havili, 8-Hugh Renton, 9-Finlay Christie, 10-Mitch Hunt, 11-Leicester Fainga'anuku, 12-Alex Nankivell, 13-Fetuli Paea, 14-Mark Talea, 15- David Havili (c)
Reserves: 16-Quentin MacDonald, 17-Ryan Coxon, 18-Samuel Matenga, 19-Mahroni Ngakuru, 20-Braden Stewart, 21-Dwayne Polataivao, 22-Tim O'Malley, 23-Tima Fainga'anuku
The defending champion Mako have made just one change to their starting side with experienced halfback Finlay Christie returning in place of Dwayne Polataivao, who moves back to the bench. The rest of the team is unchanged from last weekend's win over Waikato.
SOUTHLAND V WAIKATO
2pm Sunday, October 4
Rugby Park, Invercargill
Southland: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-sebastian Siataga, 3-Siate Tokolahi, 4-Raymond Tatafu, 5-Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 6-Glenn Preston, 7-Tony Lamborn (c), 8-Charles Alaimalo, 9-Liam Howley, 10-Greg Dyer, 11-Rory van Vugt 12-Ray Nu’u, 13-Jaye Thompson, 14-Isaac Te Tamaki, 15-Joshua Moorby
Reserves: 16-Jason Rutledge, 17-Joe Walsh, 18-Viliami Tosi, 19-Craig Smith, 20-Matthew James, 21-Logan Crowley, 22-Scott Eade, 23-Penikolo Latu
Waikato: 1-Rob Cobb, 2-Samisoni Taukei’aho, 3-Sefo Kautai, 4-James Thompson, 5-Samipeni Finau, 6-Adam Thomson, 7-Mitch Jacobson, 8-Luke Jacobson, 9-Cortez Ratima, 10-Rivez Reihana, 11-Patrick Osborne, 12-Louis Rogers, 13-Bailyn Sullivan, 14-Valynce Te Whare, 15-Liam Coombes-Fabling
Reserves: 16-Steven Misa, 17-Ollie Norris, 18-Josh Iosefa-Scott, 19-Hamilton Burr, 20-Liam Messam, 21-Xavier Roe, 22-Fletcher Smith 23-Matty Lansdown
Liam Messam will play his forst game for Waikato in five years after being named on the bench to face Southland, as Andrew Strawbridge makes nervous changes to his side.
In the forwards, prop Rob Cobb and hooker James Thompson have been elevated to the starting side while Luke Jacobson, switches back to No. 8 making room for brother Mitch to start in his preferred position of openside flanker.
In the backs, there is a new halves combination of halfback, Cortez Ratima, and first-five Rivez Reihana. Bailyn Sullivan, moves into the midfield and his move sees Valynce Te Whare start on the wing.
OTAGO V HAWKE'S BAY (RANFURLY SHIELD)
4pm Sunday, October 4
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Otago: 1-George Bower, 2-Ricky Jackson, 3-Josh Hohneck, 4-Jack Regan, 5-Will Tucker, 6-Charles Eaton, 7-Slade McDowall, 8-Dylan Nel, 9-Kayne Hammngton, 10-Josh Ioane, 11-Jona Nareki, 12-Aleki Morris, 13-Michael Collins, 14-Freedom Vahaakolo, 15-Vilimoni Koroi
Reserves: 16-Liam Coltman, 17-Jonah Aoina, 18-Yoshihisa Sasagi, 19-Josh Hill, 20-Sione Misiloi, 21-James Ascott, 22-Josh Timu, 23-Mitchell Scott
Otago have made just one change to their starting side, as they put the Ranfurly Shield on the line after claiming it off Taranaki last weekend.
Ricky Jackson starts at hooker in place of Liam Coltman who is on the bench. Sione Misiloi and Mitchell Scott have also been named on the reserves.
Hawke's Bay: 1-Pouri Rakete-Stones, 2-Ash Dixon (c), 3-Joe Apikotoa, 4-Geoff Cridge, 5-Tom Parsons, 6-Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, 7-Brendon O'Connor, 8-Devan Flanders, 9-Folau Fakatava, 10-Lincoln McClutchie, 11-Jonah Lowe, 12-Danny Toala, 13-Stacey Ili, 14-Lolagi Visinia, 15-Kurt Baker
Reserves: 16-Kianu Kereru-Symes, 17-Jason Long, 18-Joel Hintz, 19-Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20-Gareth Evans, 21-Connor McLeod, 22-Caleb Makene, 23-Ollie Sapsford
Hawke's Bay have made two changes to their starting XV with Folau Fakatava coming it at halfback and Danny Toala at second five.
Hawke's Bay last held the Ranfurly Shield in 2015, when they lost it to Waikato after 11 successful defences and they've had just one challenge since then when they lost to the Mooloos in 2018.