20 Jul 2011

Hoeata to stick to his knitting

1:20 pm on 20 July 2011

The Highlanders and Taranaki lock Jared Hoeata says making his Test rugby debut on a familiar ground will help settle his nerves when he lines up against Fiji on Friday night at Carisbrook in Dunedin.

Hoeata's partnering the 61-Test veteran Ali Williams in the second row and says the coaches have given him a simple message: stick to what worked for him in the Highlanders.

The 27-year-old says the coaches just want his aggressive physicality and lead from the front in that area.

Colin Slade gets his first Test start outside another Highlander, Jimmy Cowan, while the first-five and halfback reserves are Dan Carter and Piri Weepu.

The Crusaders loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett is back after missing out last year and so's the Highlanders wing Ben Smith, who's on the bench.

Richie McCaw will captain the side in which only he, Cowan, Conrad Smith and Mils Muliainia played in the win over Wales in November.