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Lions Named to Take on Bay of Plenty

In search of their 20th consecutive win, the Wellington Lions hit the road one last time in the 2023 regular season, taking on Bay of Plenty at Rotorua International Stadium on Sunday.


Halfback Kemara Hauiti-Parapara is in line to play his 50th game for the Lions. Debuting in 2017 against Manawatu, Hauiti-Parapara has spent time overseas in France, as well as Otago, before returning home this season.


Head Coach Tamati Ellison has made changes to the side that defeated Waikato last Friday night, including the inclusion of Sione Halalilo and Chicago Doyle, who come in for Captain Du’Plessis Kirifi and Ruben Love


“We’re got a big end to the regular season with two Shield defences to round out the competition before finals footy. We also want to ensure we keep everyone well rested and healthy leading into the finals”, said Ellison.


Cameron Orr starts in the front row in the absence of Xavier Numia, alongside James O’Reilly and Siale Lauaki.


Dominic Bird and Filo Paulo partner in the middle row, with Paulo making his first start for the Lions.


The back row shuffles again, Brad Shields starts on the blindside with Sione Halalilo on the openside. Peter Lakai packs down at number 8.


Half Centurion Kemara Hauiti-Parapara once again combines with MSP’s Aidan Morgan.


Wainuiomata’s Peter Umaga-Jensen captains the side from second-five, with Billy Proctor outside him, lining up at centre.


Pepesana Patafilo and Losi Filipo have both been impressive on the wing this season, and will start once again, with Chicago Doyle rounding out the XV at fullback.


On the bench, Penieli Poasa, Ha’amea Ahio and Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe cover the front row stocks. Hugo Plummer and Dominic Ropeti round out the forwards reserves.


Sam Howling backs up Hauiti-Parapara in the halfback position, with Sam Clarke and Riley Higgins able to play a multitude of positions across the backline.


The Wellington Lions head to Rotorua to take on Bay of Plenty at Rotorua International this Sunday at 2:05pm. The match is live on Sky Sport from 2pm.


Next weekend, the Lions return home and at Porirua Park to host North Harbour on Sunday September 24 with kids go free.


Lions side to take on Bay of Plenty:

  1. Cameron Orr (Western Suburbs)
  2. James O’Reilly (Hutt Old Boys’ Marist)
  3. Siale Lauaki (Tawa)
  4. Dominic Bird (Upper Hutt Rams)
  5. Hugo Plummer (Tawa)
  6. Brad Shields (Petone)
  7. Sione Halalilo (Oriental-Rongotai)
  8. Peter Lakai (Petone)
  9. Kemara Hauiti-Parapara*(Tawa)
  10. Aidan Morgan (Marist St Pats)
  11. Pepesana Patafilo (Tawa)
  12. Peter Umaga-Jensen © (Wainuiomata)
  13. Billy Proctor (Marist St Pats)
  14. Losi Filipo (Petone)
  15. Chicago Doyle (Marist St Pats)
  16. Penieli Poasa (Oriental-Rongotai)
  17. Ha’amea Ahio (Johnsonville)
  18. Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe (Northern United)
  19. Hugo Plummer (Tawa)
  20. Dominic Ropeti (Oriental-Rongotai)
  21. Sam Howling (Pōneke)
  22. Sam Clarke (Paremata-Plimmerton)
  23. Riley Higgins (Petone)


*50th game


Unavailable for selection: Xavier Numia, TJ Perenara, Julian Savea, Josh Southall, Bradley Crichton, Caleb Delany, Asafo Aumua, Connor Garden-Bachop, Tjay Clarke, Akira Ieremia