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Changes Aplenty as Pride Team Named to Take on Bay of Plenty


Wellington Pride Head Coach Fusi Feaunati has named his 23 to take on Bay of Plenty this weekend, making five changes to his starting XV.


It’s do or die for the Pride this weekend, and after four consecutive losses, enter a battle for Premiership survival in Tauranga.


Two changes in the pack, as prop Chloe Te Moananui and lock Ashlyn Pescini return to the starting set up, Te Moananui for Petone club team mate Lavinia Lea. Pescini’s return sees vice-captain Joanah Ngan-Woo shift to the blindside, in place of Jaydah Timu.


Three changes in the backline, headlined by the return of Monica Tagoai in the midfield. Fa’alua Tugaga will start at halfback in place of Milly Mackey, and Drenna Falaniko back on the wing.


Feaunati said the last couple of weeks have been tough for the team, but is confident the performance they are looking for is due to come out.


“We’ve improved each week and have been strong in the first half of each match. The challenge now is to take that and apply it to an 80-minute performance.”


This weekend is the penultimate match for the Pride, who have the bye next weekend, before wrapping up against Waikato in a fortnights time.


As mentioned, just the one change in the front row, Chloe Te Moananui in for Lavinia Lea, Valini Vaka and Angelica Schwencke look to continue their impressive form.


Ashlyn Pescini returns to the starting lineup and will once again partner Jackie Patea-Fereti in the middle row, with Joanah Ngan-Woo shifting to the blindside, and Maddie Feaunati on the openside. Nina Foaese again takes her place at the back of the scrum.


Fa’alua Tugaga and Tamara Ruaporo link up again in the halves, as well as vice-captain Monica Tagoai and young gun Justine McGregor in the midfield.


Harmony Kautai and fullback Ivana Samani back up after last weekend, with Drenna Falaniko returning to the right wing after missing last week.


Some movement also on the bench, the front row replacements of Petrina Foaese, Barbra Taumoli and Kelly Laumalili-Tuiatua all maintain their spots. Sophie Irving returns to the 23 after missing the last couple of weeks, and Leah Conley rounds out the forwards reserves.


Milly Mackey slots back onto the bench after a start last weekend, as well as starters from last weekend, Tawny Burgess and Lyric Faleafaga dropping to the bench with players returning.


The Wellington Pride head to Tauranga to take on Bay of Plenty this Saturday at 11:35am. The match will be live on Sky Sport.


The Wellington Pride team to take on Bay of Plenty:

  1. Angelica Schwencke
  2. Valini Vaka
  3. Chloe Te Moananui
  4. Ashlyn Pescini
  5. Jackie Patea-Fereti ©
  6. Joanah Ngan-Woo (vc)
  7. Maddie Feaunati
  8. Nina Foaese
  9. Fa’alua Tugaga
  10. Tamara Ruaporo
  11. Harmony Kautai
  12. Monica Tagoai (vc)
  13. Justine McGregor
  14. Drenna Falaniko
  15. Ivana Samani
  16. Petrina Foaese
  17. Barbra Taumoli
  18. Kelly Laumalili-Tuiatua
  19. Sophie Irving
  20. Leah Conley
  21. Milly Mackey
  22. Tawny Burgess
  23. Lyric Faleafaga