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What was the Tokanui side looking like in 1976. New players to the city Rugby scene will beon show in the Tokanui line-up this year, the most notable of whom is former All Black trialist Jeff Gardiner who will be at fullback for the club.
Buster Leith is understood to have retired from his role as full back while Graham Cook has vacated the half back booth. The club's final squad has not yet been named because other commitments have prevented Tokanui playing many pre-season game.
Coach Mike Earwaker has bought three promising third graders into the team. David Rae will play at half back while Spencer Golden and Ashley Blair will be in the three-quarters.
While the President's Cup is not of great interest to the club, the three games it offers before the Galbraith Shield gets under way, will serve as useful training of how they will fear and how much they depend on the service they get from Rae at halfback.
The Dermody brothers, will be key members of the pack with Stuart at number eight and Fergus and Gerald locking. Rex Kingdom and R. Crosbie will be off the side of the scrum. Lex Chisholm who was a promising junior some years ago is back in the side and will help front row which has Southland hooker Bruce Lamb and also L. Lamb and D. Morrison.
The loss of five of last year's side has been a blow to teh Waikiwi and ti will go into Saturday's game against Star in the process of re-forming its forward pack. Some new players have helped to ease the problem for new coach Ray Darragh.
A Massey College 1st XV member last season, Colin Horton will fill one of the proping positions with Lester Ronald and Craig Ward filling the front row.
Locks Steve Kelliher and Alistair Mackintosh will be supported this season by former high school first XV player Winston Cournane and Paul MacIntyre.
Wayne Pope, Gus Ferguson, Alistair MacEwan and Peter Sinclair will play int he back row of the scrum. Sinclair is not to be confused with the team's prop last year who was also Peter Sinclair who has transferred away.
Struan Robertson and Keith Gaines will fight out the half back role between themselves. At first five eight Jake Tairi will be controlling things with a former Lincoln College second five eight outside him in Mark Lemon.
The three-quarter line of the club should be fairly strong with Ron Davis on one wing and Ken Popham at centre and Peter Young on the other wing.
Alistair Dick is not likely to be ready to play for a few weeks and his place at full back will be taken by Lindsay Waldron.
Missing from last year's line up are Peter Sinclair, Mike Dallas, Tony Kelliher, Ian Frame and Lindsay Dow all of whom transferred out of the district.
An influx of teachers into the Woodlands area appears to have bolstered the senior team's ranks and at the moment coach Rex McDonald ahs a squad of about 28/29 to choose from.
One significant loss at this stage of the season has been that of Barry Newell. He has twisted his knee and has damaged his hamstrings as a result. Keiran Fahey will be back at full back while Kevin and Paul Webb will be joined on the wings by promoted third grader Brian McFaul. Another three-quarter is Paul Forde who played in Winton last year. Last year's centre Graham Telfer will be playing again while Tony Irwin, Dave Munro and Peter Schmidt will be playing also in the midfield area.
Jimmy Hargest will be playing at half-back when Duncan is spelled. In the forwards John Sommerville will be at number eight with most of last season regulars also available. Murray and Arthur Ballantyne will be off the side of the scrum. They will be joined by Rodney Botting who played well last year. Also locking will be Russell Baird and Pom Tomlinson. Alan Duff will hook and Owen Marshall will be propping.
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