Duo in line for Canes debut
Ope Peleseuma and Blade Thomson could make their Hurricanes debuts in Friday’s final clash against the Crusaders.
Ope Peleseuma and Blade Thomson could make their Hurricanes debuts in Friday’s final round clash against the Crusaders after being named on the bench.
Both Peleseuma and Thomson have been close to earning their first caps, but are yet to run on the field.
Peleseuma was included on the bench for the Chiefs game two weeks ago after Tusi Pisi was ruled out, but didn’t take the field while Thomson was bracketed for the same match as an injury back up, but Faifili Levave was cleared to play.
The starting XV only has one confirmed change for this week, with Brad Shields starting at blindside flank.
Alapati Leiua, who injured his hip against the Highlanders last Saturday, has been bracketed with Matt Proctor.
On the bench, the only other change sees a return to the four/three forwards/backs split and Andre Taylor has been bracketed with Proctor, should Leiua be ruled out closer to the match.
Players unavailable this week due to injury include Dane Coles (calf), Tim Bateman (knee), Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (knee), Motu Matu’u (arm), Tusi Pisi (hand) and Ardie Savea (ankle).
Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Alapati Leiua/Matt Proctor, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Reynold Lee-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Reggie Goodes, 17 John Schwalger, 18 Blade Thomson, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Ope Peleseuma, 22 Matt Proctor/Andre Taylor.
Date: Saturday, July 13
Venue: AMI Stadium, Addington Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garrett Williamson (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)