Brett Ranga included in New Zealand Heartland XV
The team features 14 players that will be taking the field in Mitre 10 Heartland Championship Finals this weekend.
The New Zealand Heartland XV is;
|Carl Carmichael||King Country|
|Josh Clark||North Otago|
|Ralph Darling||North Otago|
|Tristan Flutey||Wairarapa Bush|
|Hone Haerewa||East Coast|
|Himiona Henare||Horowhenua Kapiti|
|Sione Holani||West Coast|
|Tyler Kearns||West Coast|
|Meli Kolinisau||North Otago|
|Seta Koroitamana||Mid Canterbury|
|Miles Medlicott||South Canterbury|
|Regan O’Gorman||South Canterbury|
|Willie Paiaua||Horowhenua Kapiti|
|Patrick Pati||North Otago|
|Tim Priest||Wairarapa Bush|
|Brett Ranga||Thames Valley|
|Robbie Smith||North Otago|
|Churlainn Sowerby||King Country|
|Nick Strachan||South Canterbury|
|Jaxon Tagavaitau||Horowhenua Kapiti|
|Troy Tauwhare||West Coast|
|Alex Thrupp||King Country|
|Willie Wright||South Canterbury|
Head Coach Mark Rutene has selected 13 players that were involved in the Pasifika Challenge II match against Samoa in July, with 12 players in line for their Heartland XV debut.
Rutene said the standard of Mitre 10 Heartland Championship had been impressive in 2019 and he was looking forward to assembling this team.
“We have a really good balance of players who will be new to the team and those who have been involved in past campaigns. It is great to be able to reward players who have performed well in their provincial colours over the past few months, I’m sure they are excited about the opportunity to wear the black jersey and represent their families and Unions,” said Rutene.
The New Zealand Heartland XV will play three matches; their annual fixture against New Zealand Marist team for the McRae Cup along with two matches against Vanua XV in Fiji.
Rutene said the goal will be to get the players to connect in a short space of time so that they can come together on the field.
“We know we have the best players from across the Heartland Unions coming together, so there is no lack of skill or talent, the key is getting them all on the same page with how we want to play so we can put out three good performances,” said Rutene.
New Zealand Heartland XV match schedule
Saturday 2 November, kick off 2pm
New Zealand Heartland XV v New Zealand Marist
Boyd Park, Te Aroha
Wednesday 6 November, kick off 7pm
New Zealand Heartland XV v Vanua Fiji
Churchill Park, Lautoka, Fiji
Saturday 9 November, kick off 3pm
NZ Heartland XV v Vanua Fiji
Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, Fiji