Selectors give Capil his big chance

Jack Capil
Jack Capil
Jack Capil has been handed the biggest assignment of his rugby career and he is excited by it.

The young forward has been named to start on the blindside flank for the Southland Stags' round six Mitre 10 Cup fixture against Northland in Whangarei tomorrow night.

It is his second season with the Stags, but the showdown against Northland will be his first start at Mitre 10 Cup level after he played a limited role last year.

''I learned a lot last year, more around what it takes to be a professional rugby player,'' he said.

For Capil, the main focus this year has been trying to claim a spot in the 23. But he now finds himself with a starting berth, as one of the Stags' standouts this season, Phil Halder, has been ruled out for a couple of weeks through a knee injury.

Capil progressed through the Southland Boys' High School ranks, and played for Star at premier club level as a lock. However, it is in the loose forwards where the Stags have opted to use him this season.

''I've played most of my rugby as a lock who could play six. This year with the Stags I'm probably seen more as a six [who can play lock]. It doesn't worry me where I play.''

While it has been a tough first five games for the Stags - they have lost every one of them by big margins - Capil said the mood in the Southland camp was still positive.''

Capil's introduction has meant Tony Lamborn has switched from the blindside to the openside flank this week, and Bill Fukofuka retains his spot at No8.

Eastern-Northern Barbarians lock-loose forward Brenton Howden has filled Capil's spot on the bench.

Southland's loose forwards will be provided a tough test by their Northland counterparts, including Kara Pryor and Matt Matich.

The remainder of the Southland forward pack remains the same from the last outing against Otago.

In the backline, the Stags decision-makers have opted to leave Tayler Adams out of the 23 this week.

After missing the opening four games through an ankle injury, Adams started at first five-eighth in the 43-24 loss to Otago on Saturday.

The Melbourne Rebels pivot looked rusty, and potentially was still hampered by the ankle complaint.

Instead of James Wilson returning to first five he has been retained at second five, and Broc Hooper gets the start in the No10 jersey.

Halfback Jay Renton returns to the starting line-up, replacing Nico Costa, and after a hamstring injury and illness, Tauasosi Tuimavave is back to start at fullback.

Lewis Ormond has dropped out of the 23.

-By Logan Savory

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