Aaron Smith will turn out for the Manawatu Turbos for the first time in NINE years this weekend and will be joined by the exciting return of Nehe Milner-Skudder.
Aaron Smith’s long-awaited return to the green and white jersey will come via the bench when the Turbos take on Northland in Whangarei on Sunday with the veteran usually on All Blacks duty at this time of year.
Smith is part of a powerful reserves bench which also includes Nehe Milner-Skudder who was unable to regain fitness in time to feature in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
Smith plays back up to Jamie Booth who captains the Turbos this weekend with Ben Wyness at first five. Aaron Cruden's younger brother Stewart Cruden also takes a place on the bench.
Crusaders and Samoan International Mike Alaalatoa starts at tighthead for Manawatu with Hurricanes flanker Liam Mitchell at blindside for the side.
Manawatū: 15 Te Rangatira Waitokia, 14 Newton Tudreu, 13 Josiah Maraku, 12 James Tofa, 11 Adam Boult, 10 Ben Wyness, 9 Jamie Booth (captain); 8 Brayden Iose, 7 Micaiah Torrance-Reid, 6 Liam Mitchell, 5 Teofilo Paulo, 4 Sam Liebezeit, 3 Mike Alaalatoa, 2 Sam Stewart, 1 Tietie Tuimauga.
Reserves: 16 Siua Maile, 17 Solomona Sakalia, 18 Kyle Stewart, 19 TK Howden, 20 Tyler Laubscher, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Stewart Cruden, 23 Nehe Milner-Skudder.