Country which is yet to win the series despite coming close last year will be led by the veteran Matavera player Ray Romanu.
Romanu, who picked his own squad, has included some senior players from Turangi, Matavera and Muri for this weekend’s one-off 50-over battle.
He will be assisted by another veteran, Vane Tangimetua Sr from Turangi, as well as experienced campaigners Tutu Tangimetua, Osalai Akai, Tiri Toa, Ben Vakatini, Mike Hoff and Moni Uini.
Newcomers in the team include Vakatini, who missed out last year, William Jephson and Adam.
Town, who have held the title since the inaugural year of the series in 2016, will be led by the experienced Wayken Punga.
Punga will be assisted by the likes of Deacon Teapa, Nooroto William, Kunta Ritawa, Parker Daniel and Melody Melota.
The side looks strong with a good mix of prolific hitters and bowlers, who were in fine form during the 2017 Rarotonga Club Cricket competition.
On paper, Country is an equally strong side with lot of experience especially in the batting department.
They also have a good set of bowlers led by Matavera’s Mike Hoff.
Country’s Romanu said they were struggling to get the players together to train for the do-or-die tussle.
“We have two deaths in our village so it’s a bit hard to get everyone together for training. But we have played together before and I think a couple of days run will be enough to gel and get ourselves ready for this match.”
21 South Group managing director Grant Walker expects a tough tussle between the two teams after an unexpected result in the women’s match last weekend. Town women caused a major shock by beating 2017 champions Country by three wickets in a low scoring match at Turangi Oval on Saturday.
Meanwhile the time for the men’s match will be decided later this week.
Country – Ray Romanu (C) (Matavera), Ben Vakatini (Matavera), William Jephson (Turangi), Mike Hoff (Muri), Moni Uini (Matavera), Vane Tangimetua Sr (VC), Vane Tangimetua Jr, Patiia Ataera (Muri), Tutu Tangimetua, Iro Maroaroa (Matavera), Osalai Akai (Turangi), Adam (Matavera), Tiri Toa (Turangi)
Town – Wayken Punga (C), Deacon Teapa, Nooroto William, Vinegar Tiro, Taupa Melota, Teaute Ravarua, Kunta Ritawa, Parker Daniel, Melody Melota, Ula Teinaki, Terry William, Maia Yawea, Teo Pana, John Angaino, Rip Tauia