Mitre 10 Cup squad in Japan

Pakuranga United Rugby Club players Ben Nee Nee (left)) and Sam Prattley were named in the Auckland Mitre 10 squad. Photos Auckland Rugby William Booth/ www.photosport.nz

The Auckland Mitre 10 Cup wider group is on a preseason tour to Japan in preparation for the upcoming season.

A total of 28 players have been selected from Super and Club rugby will play matches against Sanix, Coca Cola and Kuden over the next two weeks.

The tour was proposed by Dream Rugby Fukufoka and celebrates the 30th anniversary ‘sister city’ relationship between Auckland and Fukufoka.

While several players were unable to travel the trip due to Super Rugby commitments or injuries, an exciting group has been assembled that will form the core of the Mitre 10 Cup squad.

Lock Scott Scrafton will be the tour captain and is expected to continue on his fine form from Super Rugby.

Five players from the Gallaher Shield winning University club are included, with a total of nine premier clubs represented in the group.

Auckland played the Carlos Spencer-coached Sanix on August 5 and take on Coca Cola and Kuden in a ‘game of three halves’ on August 9.

They will return to New Zealand the following day and kick off the Mitre 10 Cup against Counties Manukau on August 19.

Forwards
Sam Prattley (Pakuranga), Marcel Renata (University), Isi Tu’ungafasi (Suburbs), Dexter Fa’amoana (College Rifles), Emersen Tamura-Paki (College Rifles), Kurt Eklund (University), JP Sauni (College Rifles), Ben Nee Nee (Pakuranga), Scott Scrafton (Grammar TEC), Jamie Lane (Ponsonby), Adrian Choat (Waitemata), Blake Gibson (Ponsonby), Sam Slade (Ponsonby), Josh Kaifa (Manukau Rovers), Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz (Suburbs), Sinclair Dominikovich-Murray (University)

Backs
Jono Hickey (Grammar TEC), Lisati Milo-Harris (Gramamr TEC), Dan Bowden (Ponsonby), Otumaka Mausia (College Rifles), Tyrone Elkington-MacDonald (University), Caleb Clarke (Suburbs), Tumua Manu (College Rifles), Amos Pogia (University), Loketi Manu (College Rifles), Salesi Rayasi (Marist), Jordan Trainor (Ponsonby), Joe Ravouvou (College Rifles)

Players unavailable: Jerome Kaino, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Rieko Ioane, Michael Fatialofa, Tom McHugh, Taleni Seu, Akira Ioane, Leon Fukofuka, Vince Aso, George Moala, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Malakai Fekitoa, Wiseguy Faiane, Pisi Leilua, Lolohea Loco, Rodrigo Costa, Broc Hooper, Dalton Papalii, Melani Nanai, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Uluofnua, TJ Faiane.