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The team was coming off an intense physical battle with a big Counties-Manukau side at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Sunday and decided to opt for a spell at the pool yesterday to rest some tired bodies. The side is due to face Northland on Friday night at Forsyth Barr Stadium, so has a short turnaround.
Although it will lose prop George Bower to the All Blacks, the side has capable back-up in Jamie Mackintosh and Jonah Aoina on the loosehead side of the front row.
But the team will be able to hang on to first five-eighth Josh Ioane and hooker Lima Coltman. The two key players for Otago were not named in the All Blacks side yesterday to travel to Australia for the Tri-Nations tournament, so will be available to turn out for Otago for the rest of the season.
With covid-19 restrictions loosening in New South Wales, players no longer have to quarantine when they get over the Ditch, so the All Blacks can whistle up a player and get them into their squad within a day.
That eliminates the need to take such a big squad to Australia for the four game series.
The Otago side is expected to be named today for the match against Northland. Otago sits second in the championship, tied on the same points (20) as Hawke’s Bay, although the Magpies are ahead on points differential.
Northland is in third with 18 points.