The Thames Valley Heartland rugby team makes its first appearance in Paeroa this year when they face Wanganui in Round 2 of the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship on Saturday.
Although both sides had good wins on the weekend, the manner in which Wanganui disposed of Wairarapa Bush by 79-7 will be a concern for the rest of the Heartland teams.
Coach Matthew Bartleet has made one or two changes to the squad that travelled to Ruatoria last week with the most notable being the loss of Shaun Hill to injury.
Jarrod Goodall moves into the starting line up and Lance Easton comes onto the bench. There is a shuffle round with the half backs that sees Jonty Wood wearing the number nine jersey and Connor McVerry starts at lock with his place in the reserves taken by Keegan Lewis.
The full team is: T Scott, H Wisnewski, R Cairns, A Carroll, C McVerry, B Ranga, R Moloney, A Bradley, J Wood, C Doak, R Vosayaco, S McCahon, H Laufituanai, T Keith, J Goodall. Reserves: E Roycroft, G Lelenoa, K Lewis, M Hart, B Bonnar, J Law, L Easton. Kick off: 2pm.
The referee, Boris Jurlina, from Northland has refereed in Thames Valley earlier this year during the club competition as part of a referee exchange exercise, controlling the Cobras v Thames Premier game at Te Aroha on June 24.
The Development team plays Counties Manukau at Patumahoe in round two of the Northern Regions Under 85kg competition.
Coach Peter O’Connor will not have as many of the Heartland wider training squad to pick from this week but should still have a reasonable team for this clash.
Counties had a 25-15 win over King Country Development last week at Patumahoe while Thames Valley beat Auckland 20-18 at Thames. Kickoff is at 1pm.
In the age grade teams, the Thames Valley Under 18s play Taranaki in the curtain-raiser at Paeroa Domain, kicking off at 12.30pm while the Roller Mills team has another warm up game against a Matamata and Districts selection at Boyd Park, Te Aroha at 11am
The Under 16s leave for a tour of the lower North Island on Saturday and play Wairarapa Bush on Sunday in Masterton at 2pm. They also play Wanganui next Wednesday and Horowhenua Kapiti the following Saturday.
The Under 18s also go on tour next week, playing Poverty Bay in Gisborne on Wednesday and East Coast at Ruatoria on Saturday as curtain-raiser to the East Coast v West Coast Heartland Championship game.
On Sunday the Regional Under 45kg competition starts in Cambridge and Thames Valley plays Hamilton Black at 11.30am and Te Awamutu at 1pm.