Fijian flyer Timoci Tavatavanawai makes his return to Moana Pasifika’s match day squad and will provide impact from the bench in the clash against the Crusaders in Round 13 of Super Rugby Pacific on Friday.
Tavatavanawai was not part of Moana’s squad in their big 71-22 loss to the Hurricanes last week.
Friday’s match will be the second time the two teams meet this year, with the Crusaders taking a hard-fought 38-21 win in Round 7 at Orangetheory Stadium.
A blockbusting performance by the destructive partnership of Levi Aumua and Tavatavanawai saw the duo combine for three tries, 180 metres, with 11 defenders beaten as they caused havoc for the Crusaders.
Moana Pasifika currently leads the competition in post-contact metres, and in big part thanks to the devastating form of the Tasman Mako duo.
Mahonri Ngakuru and Henry Taefu join Tavatavanawai on the bench as late-game impact options.
Moana will face Crusaders at 7.05pm on Friday at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart.
Moana Pasifika: Abraham Pole, Samiuela Moli, Chris Apoua, Michael Curry, Mike McKee, Miracle Faiilagi, Alamanda Motuga, Solomone Funaki (c), Ereatara Enari, Christian Lealiifano, Neria Foma’i, Levi Aumua, Fine Inisi, Tima Fainga’anuku, William Havili.
Reserves: Luteru Tolai, Ezekiel Lindnemuth, Sosefo ‘Apikotoa, Mahonri Ngakuru, Jonah Mau’u, Jonathan Taumateine, Henry Taefu, Timoci Tavatavanawai.
Crusaders: Kershawl Sykes-Martin, Brodie McAlister, Tamaiti Williams, Scott Barrett (c), Zach Gallagher, Sione Havili Talitui, Corey Kellow, Cullen Grace, Noah Notham, Fergus Burke, Macca Springer, Dallas McLeod, Jack Goodhue, Chay Fihaki, Will Jordan.
Reserves: Ioane Moananu, Andrew Turner, Seb Calder, Dom Gardiner, Christian Lio-Willie, Mitchell Drummond, Taha Kemara, Wil Gualter.