Two changes to under-20 starting line-up

Highlanders under-20 coach Ryan Bambry has made two changes to the starting line-up for his team’s next game at the national tournament in Taupo.

Oscar Cowley-Andrea replaces Isileli Otunuku at loosehead prop for the clash against the Blues this afternoon.

There is also just one change to the backline, where Bradley McPate comes on to the right wing at the expense of Oliver Foote.

Prop Mahonri Auva’a, lock Edward Whyte and midfield back Filipo Whitehouse-Opetaia Tovio are new faces on the bench.

Otherwise, Bambry has largely kept faith with a Baby Landers team that played reasonably well in the first half before slumping to a 43-24 loss to the Barbarians on Sunday.

He will be seeking a bit more aggression and cohesion from his forward pack, which
will hopefully provide opportunities for a backline containing the talents of Cameron Millar, Jake Te Hiwi and Finn Hurley.

The Blues under-20 team opened with a 35-27 loss to the Hurricanes.

Classy playmaker Byron Smith, who was schooled at Nudgee College in Australia, guides a backline that includes rising midfield star Quinton Nichols.

The Blues are captained by No8 Wallace Sititi, son of former Manu Samoa captain Semo Sititi.

The game kicks off at 3pm.

Highlanders under-20

To play Blues

Finn Hurley, Bradley McPate, Jake Te Hiwi, Ajay Faleafaga, Jeremiah Asi, Cameron Millar, Noah Hotham (c), Semisi Tupou-Ta’eiloa, Hayden Michaels, Will Stodart, Oliver Haig, Fabian Holland, Rohan Wingham, Jack Taylor, Oscar Cowley-Andrea. Reserves: Michael Strydom, Isileli Otunuku, Mahonri Auva’a, Edward Whyte, Heath MacEwan, Brad Campbell, Cam Burgess, Filipo Whitehouse-Opetaia Tovio.

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