Hurricanes 'bulk up' on Barrett brothers
PRE-SEASON SPOTLIGHT: Brothers Beauden and Jordie Barrett will take the field together for the first time when the Hurricanes play the Crusaders at the Border Rugby Club on Friday.
The two Taranaki-born siblings will be in familiar territory in the South Taranaki town of Waverley - with Beauden at flyhalf and Jordie at fullback during the first half of the Super Rugby pre-season match.
Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has selected four of his five 2016 All Blacks - with Ardie Savea to start at openside flank and TJ Perenara and Julian Savea to take their places at scrumhalf and on the left wing respectively in the second half.
"It's been great to have our All Blacks in camp with us for the past few weeks and I know they are all looking forward to getting back on the field and gearing up for the start of Super Rugby," Boyd said.
"This is our last chance to have a look at our combinations before the season kicks off against the Sunwolves in Tokyo next Saturday, so it's an important exercise."
One All Black not suiting up this week is Hurricanes captain Dane Coles, who will sit the match as he continues his individual return to play protocol.
The day promises to be a huge occasion for the Waverley and Whanganui communities with no less than 14 All Blacks from the 2016 end-of-year tour squad set to take the field across the Hurricanes and Crusaders squads.
The Hurricanes starting side will also provide an opportunity for Hurricanes fans to see new recruit Ben Lam in action with the former New Zealand Sevens star starting on the right wing.
World Rugby's 2016 Player of the Year Beauden Barrett will team up with scrumhalf Chris Smylie, who has re-joined the Hurricanes as injury cover, while TJ Perenara and Maori All Black Otere Black will form the second half halfback pairing.
Jordie Barrett will make way for Nehe Milner-Skudder at the break, while Lam will sub off for Cory Jane and Ardie Savea for Callum Gibbins.
Players not considered: Dane Coles, Leni Apisai, Reggie Goodes, Sam Lousi, Vaea Fifita, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Kylem O'Donnell, Peter Umaga-Jensen.
Hurricanes - first half: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Mike Kainga, 2 James O'Reilly, 1 Loni Uhila.
Hurricanes - second half: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Otere Black, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements for both halves: Ben May, Hugh Renton, Jonah Lowe.
Date: Friday, February 17
Venue: Border Rugby Club, Waverley
Kick-off: 17.00 (04.00 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)