Former Worcester, Otago and North Harbour flanker Tom Harding starts on the bench and is likely to make his Lions debut against the champions.
Former All Blacks lock Jono Gibbes leads the Mooloos, who have 17-year-old winger Henry Speight starting.
Tasman have handed trials to two props for their visit to Whangarei to face Northland.
Former Wellington prop Adrian Collier and local amateur Hotili Asi have been handed chances to impress.
Auckland, the 2005 champions, are touring Thailand, while Canterbury take on Southland before a brief South Island training camp.