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Taufua set for Mitre10 Cup Final start

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Incoming Leicester Tigers back-rower Jordan Taufua starts at No8 for Tasman as they chase their first Mitre 10 Cup title this weekend.

Taufua, who scooped the Super Rugby title with the Crusaders in July, has been playing in New Zealand’s premier domestic competition ahead of his move to Leicester in the coming weeks.

And, after finishing top of the Premiership division table with 10 wins from 10 games, the Mako now take on second-placed Wellington as they aim to win their first-ever Cup title. Tasman beat the same opposition 45-8 on the opening weekend in August.

The 27-year-old lines up in the back row alongside All Blacks flanker Liam Squire and Blues openside Sione Havili.

New Zealand international props Tim Perry and Tyrel Lomax both start in the front row, while David Havili captains the side from full-back.

Wellington – who last won this competition in 2000 with Jonah Lomu, Tana Umaga and Christian Cullen – also have a smattering of international talent in their squad, including Italy lock Josh Furno on the bench.

Kick-off from Trafalgar Park in Nelson is scheduled for 6.05pm local time this Saturday, October 26. Live coverage is provided on Sky Sports Action from 6.00am UK time.

Tasman: 15 David Havili, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Levi Aumua, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Leicester Faingaanuku, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Finlay Christie; 1 Tim Perry, 2 Andrew Makalio, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 4 Quinten Strange, 5 Pari Pari Parkinson, 6 Liam Squire, 7 Sione Havili, 8 Jordan Taufua.

Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Isaac Salmon, 19 Te Ahiwaru Cirikdaveta, 20 Jacob Norris, 21 Uchida Keisuke, 22 Tim O’Malley, 23 Fetuli Paea.

Wellington: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 11 Vince Aso, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Kemara Hauiti-Parapara; 1 Xavier Numia, 2 Asafo Aumua, 3 Alex Fidow, 4 Vaea Fifita, 5 James Blackwell, 6 Mateaki Kafatolu, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 8 Teariki Ben-Nicholas.

Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Sitiveni Paongo, 18 Sef Fagase, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Josh Furno, 21 Connor Collins, 22 Connor Garden-Bachop, 23 Pepesana Patafilo.