• NZ’s North vs South to hit SA screens

    SuperSport has confirmed that New Zealand Rugby’s North vs South fixture will be broadcast live on Saturday morning.

    The long-awaited fixture, which had been postponed by a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic in Auckland, will be broadcast on SuperSport’s new Grandstand channel at 9am this Saturday.

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    The match will be held behind closed doors in Wellington as the rest of New Zealand remains under Covid-19 alert level 2.

    The squads have been selected by All Blacks selectors Ian Foster, Grant Fox and John Plumtree.  The All Blacks assistant coaches will coach the two sides, with Plumtree and McLeod taking charge of the North and Brad Mooar and Greg Feek of the South.

    Samuel Whitelock has been named as captain of the South team and Patrick Tuipulotu captain of the North.

    A number of players were unavailable for selection due to injury, including 2019 All Blacks Dane Coles, Scott Barrett, Sam Cane and Ngani Laumape.

    The North vs South match is steeped in history, with the first match played in 1897 (won by the North 16-3) and was last played in Dunedin in 2012 (won by the South 32-24). The 2020 match will be the 81st, with the Northerners having won 50 matches and the South 27, with three draws.

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    The North and South squads (and the player’s first province played for):

    NORTH SQUAD

    Hookers: Asafo Aumua (Wellington), Ash Dixon (Hawke’s Bay) and Kurt Eklund (Auckland).

    Props: Alex Fidow (Wellington), Ayden Johnstone (Waikato), Angus Ta’avao (Auckland), Karl Tu’inukuafe (North Harbour) and Ofa Tuungafasi (Auckland).

    Locks: Scott Scrafton (Auckland), Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland and captain) and Tupou Vaa’i (Taranaki).

    Loose forwards: Lachlan Boshier (Taranaki), Akira Ioane (Auckland), Dalton Papalii (Auckland), Ardie Savea (Wellington) and Hoskins Sotutu (Auckland).

    Halfbacks: TJ Perenara (Wellington), Aaron Smith (Manawatu) and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (Taranaki).

    Flyhalves: Beauden Barrett (Taranaki).

    Midfielders: Rieko Ioane (Auckland), Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato) and Peter Umaga-Jensen (Wellington).

    Outside backs: Caleb Clarke (Auckland), Mitchell Hunt (Auckland), Damian McKenzie (Waikato), Sevu Reece (Waikato) and Mark Telea (North Harbour).

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    SOUTH SQUAD

    Hookers: Liam Coltman (Otago), Andrew Makalio (Tasman) and Codie Taylor (Canterbury).

    Props: George Bower (Otago), Alex Hodgman (Canterbury), Nepo Laulala (Canterbury), Tyrel Lomax (Tasman) and Joe Moody (Canterbury).

    Locks: Mitchell Dunshea (Canterbury), Manaaki Selby-Rickit (Southland) and Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury, c).

    Loose forwards: Tom Christie (Canterbury), Shannon Frizell (Tasman), Dillon Hunt (Otago), Reed Prinsep (Canterbury) and Tom Sanders (Canterbury).

    Halfbacks: Finlay Christie (Tasman), Mitchell Drummond (Canterbury) and Brad Weber (Otago).

    Flyhalves: Josh Ioane (Otago) and Richie Mo’unga (Canterbury).

    Midfielders: Braydon Ennor (Canterbury), Leicester Faingaanuku (Tasman), Jack Goodhue (Canterbury) and Sio Tomkinson (Otago).

    Outside backs: Jordie Barrett (Canterbury), George Bridge (Canterbury) and Will Jordan (Tasman).