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Lam goes openside

Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:22
Jack-lam-hurricanes-hand-of Dane-coles-scrum Jefferytoomaga-allenchiefs
We are lucky we have a lot of experience in our loose forwards
Quote-end

Jack Lam will make his first start at openside flank, following an ACL reconstruction last year.

Lam is one of four changes introduced to the forward pack for the Hurricanes Super Rugby Round 10 match against the Western Force in Wellington on Friday.

The other changes includes Dane Coles, who will return to the starting hooker position this week, Jeremy Thrush is back in the pack after recovering from his lower ankle sprain and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen comes into the tighthead jersey.

The return of Thrush to the Hurricanes line-up has allowed Mark Hammett to rest Jason Eaton after starting all seven matches this season.

TJ Perenara also gets a bit of a break with Chris Smylie given the nod to start at scrumhalf.

"We saw last year we can't rely on each of our players to be available for every match, so we always wanted to be able to give Chris a few more minutes in the starting position at some point," said Hammett.

With Lam's selection, young gun Ardie Savea also gets a week off, with Karl Lowe on the bench.

Hammett added: "When we selected Ardie for his first game we wanted to give him a couple of weeks of game time and then a rest. He is still only 19 and we want to make sure he enjoys a full season of Super Rugby rather than wearing him down early in the year.

"We are lucky we have a lot of experience in our loose forwards to be able to support his development as a Super Rugby player."

On the bench, Reggie Goodes steps in as the back up prop.

Victor Vito (calf) and Ben May (elbow) were unavailable for selection this week due to injury.

This game will be the visitors' first on New Zealand soil this season, a week following their two point win over the Crusaders in Perth.

Hurricanes: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Faifili Levave, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Karl Lowe, 20 TJ Perenara, 21 Reynold Lee-Lo, 22 Andre Taylor.

Date: Friday, April 19
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT; 15.35 AWST)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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