8 Oct 2010

Injuries force big changes to Harbour

3:49 pm on 8 October 2010

Injuries have forced the North Harbour coach to name a notably changed team for their national provincial rugby championship home match against Wellington on Sunday.

Luke McAlister, Jack McPhee, Brendon Watt, Tom Chamberlain and Michael Reid have all been ruled out with injuries, with only Malakai Ravulo returning to the side after attending his father's funeral in Fiji.

The North Harbour coach Craig Dowd has named Ben Botica to start at first-five, with Michael Harris shifting out one position and regular winger Ken Pisi moving to fullback.

Dowd says he's confident his team can knock over Wellington, despite the visitors being strengthened with returning All Blacks Victor Vito and Piri Weepu.

He says bringing back All Blacks to win a game doesn't always work that way, and they'll have some unsettled combinations because they haven't worked together.