History is on Canterbury's side,but check out that Waikato Line-up they have all there ALL BLACKS back.Being a Canterbury supporter I hope Canterbury can succesfuly retain the shield. Match preview: Canterbury vs. Waikato 15/09/2005 allblacks.com Reuben Thorne to play Shield game - Photosport Waikato has never successfully challenged Canterbury for the Ranfurly Shield. While, as holders, Waikato successfully defended against Canterbury (14-7) in the first ever Shield match between the two unions in 1981, the southerners have won all six Shield matches against Waikato in the time since. This includes twice beating Waikato to win the trophy in 1994 (29-26) and 2000 (26-18). Waikato has also found Jade Stadium hard going in recent Air New Zealand NPC matches. After stringing together back-to-back wins in 1997 (24-18) and 1999 (20-6), Waikato has lost on its last two visits, including a 24-35 Ranfurly Shield loss in the corresponding game two years ago. As well as winning 15 of the 24 NPC matches played between the two unions, Canterbury has also won four of the last five, with its sole defeat being a surreal 41-59 result at Hamilton in 2002 on a day when 13 tries were scored. Canterbury skipper Reuben Thorne will return to duty after missing last weekend due to an on-going calf complaint, but the province is still without its large All Blacks contingent which could leave it vulnerable against a strengthened Waikato side. Waikato treks south in need of a major boost after letting in 10 tries in dropping its last two matches, but its selection has undergone major change compared to the side that fought doggedly in a losing effort at Eden Park Warren Gatlandâ€™s battle plans have been bolstered by the return of All Blacks Sione Lauaki, Jono Gibbes and Byron Kelleher after their international duty and injury breaks. Wing Sitiveni Sivivatu was also expected to take his place after missing last Saturday nightâ€™s match against Auckland. The last time Waikato lost three Air New Zealand NPC matches in succession was five seasons ago, when Canterbury was one of the sides to beat them as they endured a flat end by dropping their final four matches of the year. Teams Canterbury: Ben Blair, Steven Yates, Casey Laulala, Caleb Ralph, Scott Hamilton, Cameron McIntyre, Andrew Ellis, Mose Tuiali'i, Johnny Leo'o, Reuben Thorne (captain), Kevin O'Neill, Craig Clarke, Campbell Johnstone, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Tone Kopelani, Greg Feek, George Naoupu, Hayden Hopgood, Jamie Nutbrown, Steven Brett, Vilimoni Delasau. Waikato: Sosene Anesi, Richard Kahui, Keith Lowen, David Hill, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Stephen Donald, Byron Kelleher, Steven Bates, Marty Holah, Sione Lauaki, Sean Hohneck, Jono Gibbes, Deacon Manu, Scott Linklater, Philemon Toleafoa. Reserves: Aled de Malmanche, Nathan White, Toby Lynn, Liam Messam, Brendon Leonard, Dwayne Sweeney, William Ripia.