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The naming of North Otago centurion Mike Mavor in the squad to challenge Southland for the Ranfurly Shield on Friday night in Invercargill was the surprise of the squad named by coaches Barry Matthews and Shane Carter after a weekend training camp.
Mavor, who came back into the team for the last two games in the 2009 season, will provide the side with backup in the midfield.
If he takes the paddock on Friday night, Mavor will be playing his 124th first-class game.
In another interesting selection, Old Boys flanker Paula Fonokalafi, who played nine of North Otago's games in the 2009 season, has also been named as a reserve for the threequarters.
Six new faces will debut for North Otago: prop Peter van der Merwe, locks Marshall Smith and Eric Duff, blindside flanker Ryan Long, first five-eighth Ben Patston and fullback Billy Guyton.
The starting XV will be named after training on Wednesday.
- Terry O'Neill