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Country Rivals Name Rep Squads
Ellesmere will be without long-standing No.8 Matt Lowe as they seek a fifth straight Southbridge Shield victory against North Canterbury next month.
The two teams last week named their squads for the three-match programme, which culminates with the annual Country clash at Lincoln on Saturday July 9th.
Ellesmere coach Mark Treweek says Lowe told him his body was “getting a bit old” for another representative season.
However, he and Wayne Gugich have plenty of experience at their disposal in the Pietzner brothers, Waihora fullback Mark Maitland, and Darfield’s McIlroy twins, openside flanker Blair McIlroy, and prop Scott.
“We’ve got a good mix of players who have played [for Ellesmere] a fair bit, and some new boys. We’ve picked in-form players and there’s guy who have missed who will be pretty disappointed,” Mark says.
The team opened its campaign last Wednesday in Timaru with a close win over South Canterbury and plays Mid Canterbury at Kirwee Wednesday 29th June.
North Canterbury coach Shane Fletcher has injury concerns with Oxford first-five eighth Sean Thompson ruled out with a broken jaw since being named.
However, the evergreen Wayne Bell has been selected, alongside fellow experienced heads Andrew Dunbar, Ben Frame and Matt Newton.
The team plays warm-up matches up a Japanese Selection side this Saturday 2 July at Kaiapoi.
“The Ellesmere game, as always, is going to be a tough encounter, and one in recent times we haven’t had the best of results in. We think the group of guys we’ve got is capable of doing the job,” Shane says.
“Our intention is to go over there and give it a good crack.”
Teams: North Canterbury: Andrew Dunbar, James Low (Ashley), Hamish Black, Ben Frame, Lachie McFadzean, Brook Retallick (Glenmark), Wayne Bell, Matt Etheredge, Tauia MacDonald, Matt Newton, Kitt Taylor (Kaiapoi), Pat Tou (Ohoka), Stew Dalzell, Tim Jones, Richard Mavor, Tevita Pongi, Shark Prescott, Marcus Taylor, Richard Taylor, Logan Telfer, Sean Thompson, Saia Tuionetoa (Oxford), Vincent Grimbergen, Brett Hancox, Tevita Vea (Saracens).
Ellesmere: Andrew Oldfield, Scott Mitchell, Tim Syme, Blair McIIroy, Scott McIIroy (Darfield), Hamish McCullough, Jason Pietzner, Chris Greenslade, Mark Stanbury, Junior Ailepata, Mike Rowe, Joe Moody (Lincoln), Evan Seymour (Dunsandel/Irwell), Richard Mills, Mark Maitland, Jason Kjestrup, Matt Groufsky, Gareth Pietzner (Waihora), Craig Grimwood, Steve Godwin-Lees (Prebbleton), James Brown, Mason Rosvell, Matt Mullins, Sam Dickson (West Melton), Logan Vaughan, Craig Tapuvae (Burnham), Pene Manu Manu (Southbridge).
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