Riccitelli starts for Hurricanes

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 06:22
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Hooker Ricky Riccitelli is the only change to the Hurricanes starting side named to play the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.

Riccitelli comes into the side for captain Dane Coles who has been rested for the match due to a bruised knee suffered during the Hurricanes most recent Super Rugby win over the Highlanders.

Halfback TJ Perenara will captain the side in Brisbane.
 
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said Coles' injury was not serious, but still sore enough after the bye week not to take any unnecessary risks.
 
"We're particularly lucky in the hooking space with two very capable replacements in Ricky Riccitelli and Leni Apisai, so it was a bit of a no-brainer to give Colesy [Coles] the weekend off. 
 
"Dane has a big season ahead and at some point he would have needed to be rotated out of the playing roster anyway."
 
Riccitelli makes his second start of the season after running out against the Sunwolves in week one, while Apisai comes into the matchday squad for the first time this season for what will be his fifth appearance for the team.
 
There will be two significant Hurricanes milestones in Brisbane where Manawatu loosehead prop Chris Eves will gain his 50th cap and reserve back Pita Ahki his first.
 
Eves, who has appeared in all four of the Hurricanes matches this season and started in three, made his Super Rugby debut against the Sharks in Durban in 2014.
 
Ahki, who replaces Wes Goosen on the bench, joined the Hurricanes in 2016 from Auckland. He did not take the field last season after joining the All Blacks Sevens squad for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro mid-season.
 
The Hurricanes are coming off a bye this week, while the Reds have flown back from Argentina where they lost 8-22 to the Jaguares.
 
With three wins and one loss this season the Hurricanes currently sit in third place on the New Zealand Conference ladder behind the Crusaders and Chiefs.
 
The Reds are third in the Australian Conference behind the Brumbies and Waratahs with one win, against the Sharks in the opening round, and four losses.

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Ben May, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Pita Ahki.

Date: Saturday, April 1
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 18.45 (21.45 NZDT; 08.45 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Amy Perrett (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 June 2018
Highlanders v Hurricanes 07h35 Dunedin
Sat, 02 June 2018
Blues v Rebels 05h15 Eden Park
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Wales v South Africa 21h00 RFK Stadium
Sun, 03 June 2018
Brumbies v Sunwolves 06h05 Canberra
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 12 6 1 5 31
Rebels 12 6 0 6 30
Brumbies 12 4 0 8 20
Reds 11 4 0 7 18
Sunwolves 12 2 0 10 10
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 11 0 2 50
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 8 0 4 37
Highlanders 11 7 0 4 32
Blues 12 3 0 9 17
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 7 0 6 40
Jaguares 13 8 0 5 34
Sharks 13 5 1 7 28
Stormers 14 5 0 9 25
Bulls 13 5 0 8 24