Canterbury team named for ITM Cup final

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010    NZPA    Getty Images

Whitelock's return on the blindside flank in the place of Ash Parker is the only change from the side who beat Wellington 57-41 in the semifinal last Friday. Parker drops to the reserve bench, pushing lock Rob Verbakel out of the 22.

Rehabilitation since injuring his knee in the round 10 match against Otago in Dunedin on September 25 has paid off for one-test All Black Whitelock, who forms a mobile flanker combination with in-form openside Matt Todd.

Canterbury coach Rob Penney is expecting a step up in intensity for the final.

"We will be preparing for a tough battle. We know how good the Waikato forwards are and what they will bring," he said.

Penney is missing eight players on All Blacks duty, along with injured first-choice hooker Corey Flynn.
Centre Robbie Fruean is joint-leading tryscorer in the competition alongside the 10 of Bay of Plenty winger Lelia Masaga.

Canterbury rookie wing Telusa Veainu, who scored a double against Wellington, has registered eight tries in his debut season.

Team: Sean Maitland, Tu Umaga-Marshall, Robbie Fruean, Telusa Veainu, Colin Slade, Willi Heinz, Nasi Manu, Matt Todd, George Whitelock (captain), Isaac Ross, Luke Romano, Peter Borlase, Steve Fualau, Wyatt Crockett.

Reserves: Paul Ngauamo, Andrew Olorenshaw, Ash Parker, Brendon O'Connor, Takerei Norton, Stephen Brett, Sam Monaghan