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
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4