19 Jul 2010

Auckland coach welcomes returning veterans

1:06 pm on 19 July 2010

Auckland's head coach Mark Anscombe says the return of the former lack flanker Daniel Braid, and experienced backs Brent Ward and Ben Atiga has provided a real boost to the team in this year's provincial rugby championship.

Anscombe's named seven newcomers in his squad, among them the former Hawkes Bay and Highlanders first-five Matt Berquist.

Players not available because of injury include All Blacks Ali Williams and Isaia Toeava, but Anscombe says it's still a very competitive team and stronger than last year.

Auckland play Northland in Dargaville on Wednesday in their final pre-season match before taking on North Harbour at Albany on August 1.