23 Oct 2012

No room for Piri for Auckland's big ITM Cup final

12:47 pm on 23 October 2012

The Auckland rugby team didn't take a holiday on Labour Day as they put in a big session training on defence, to prepare for the ITM Cup Premiership final at the four-time defending champions Canterbury.

Auckland coach Wayne Pivac's also not willing to break up his winning combination in the halves, preferring former All Black No.9 Albie Mathewson to the incumbent international Piri Weepu.

Seven All Blacks have been released to play for their provinces but Pivac's set to spurn Weepu for the sake of continuity, though he's likely to name prop Charlie Faumuina on the bench as injury cover.

Wayne Pivac names his side on Thursday morning for the big game on Saturday in Christchurch.

Canterbury have the international props Wyatt Crockett and Ben Franks available.