Next Match Lions vs Otago

Experienced Wellington XV named

1 August 2017

TUESDAY 1 August 2017

Samoan openside Greg Foe will captain an experienced Wellington XV against Manawatu at the Otaki Domain on Sunday.

Foe leads a team that features a selection of form players from the Wellington club competition this season, but excludes players involved in Saturday’s Jubilee Cup final between Old Boys University and Hutt Old Boys Marist.

Foe, who has played five tests for Samoa, leads a team that features the return of three former Wellington representatives in Dan Kirkpatrick (Petone), Kane Thompson (Johnsonville) and Taniela Koroi (Tawa).

Kirkpatrick, who played 24 games for the Lions from 2007-2009, returned to his Petone club this season after a long career in France.

The 28-year-old will be served by a halfback at the other end of the career spectrum in young Petone club mate and Auckland recruit Carlos Price.

Veteran Oriental-Rongotai second five Paulo Aukuso joins last year’s Wellington Under 19s utility Lester Maulolo in the midfield, while Wellington Axemen wings Ollie Sapsford and Paddy Hughes get a chance to show their wares on the wings.

Thompson, who achieved a solitary cap for the Wellington Lions as a substitute against the British & Irish Lions way back in 2005, will form an experienced second row with former New Zealand age grade representative Chris Middleton.

Since 2005, Thompson has been capped more than 30 times for Samoa and played variously for Southland, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, the Chiefs, Highlanders, Newcastle in England as well as in Japan.

Fijian six-test tighthead prop Koroi completes the international flavour to the Wellington XV in the front row alongside MSP hooker Valentine Meachen and Johnsonville loosehead Chris Mafi.

Koroi played for Wellington in 2014 before being called up to the Fiji national squad in the build up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Wellington Lions head coach Chris Gibbes said it was important that the Wellington XV put a line in the sand ahead of the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup.

“We want to make sure we set the bar for the preseason and for any players coming into our environment ahead of the Mitre 10 Cup and we want to set that bar high.

“With only two preseason matches before we start our Mitre 10 Championship we have a lot to get through in a short space of time and I’ll be looking to the experienced players to drive that against Manawatu.”

Gibbes said Wellington’s Investec Super Rugby players would be graduated back into the squad in the coming weeks with a new squad to be named to play Tasman, in Seddon on August 10.

The Lions kick off their Mitre 10 Cup Championship campaign against the Manawatu Turbos in Palmerston North on Sunday, August 20.

The Wellington XV to play Manawatu at Otaki Domain on Sunday, August 6 (Kick off 2.30pm):

15 Andrew Wells (MSP)
14 Ollie Sapsford (Wellington)
13 Lester Maulolo (Petone)
12 Paulo Aukuso (Ories)
11 Paddy Hughes (Wellington)
10 Dan Kirkpatrick (Petone)
9 Carlos Price (Petone)
8 Sam Gard’ner (Wellington)
7 Greg Foe (c) (Poneke)
6 Mateaki Kafatolu (Petone)
5 Kane Thompson (Johnsonville)
4 Chris Middleton (Norths)
3 Taniela Koroi (Tawa)
2 Valentine Meachen (MSP)
1 Chris Mafi (Johsonville)

Reserves: 16 Cameron Falcon (Johnsonville), 17 Sitiveni Paongo (Tawa), 18 James Coburn (Tawa), 19 Charlie Pahulu (Petone), 20 James Tuia (MSP), 21 Isaac O’Connor (MSP), 22 Frae Wilson (Wainui), 23 Trent Renata (Ories), 24 Jeff Makapelu (Johnsonville), 25 Levi Harmon (Poneke), 26 Mike Buckley (MSP).

*Investec Super Rugby players and those involved in the Jubilee Cup final between Old Boys University and Hutt Old Boys Marist were not available for selection.

For more information please contact:

Toby Robson
Media and Communications Manager