Savea brothers out of Waratahs clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has made four changes to this starting team for Friday's Super Rugby match against the Waratahs at Westpac Stadium.
Wing Cory Jane is set for his first appearance of the season after missing the opening five matches with a neck injury suffered in the build-up to the season opener against the Sunwolves in Japan.
Jane replaces the Super Rugby’s leading try scorer Vince Aso on the right wing, while Wes Goosen gets his first start of 2017 on the left wing in place of Julian Savea.
In the loose forwards Reed Prinsep moves off the reserves to take his place at No.8 for the third time this season after Ardie Savea suffered a calf strain against the Reds last Saturday in Brisbane.
And in the front row, Ben May gets his first start of 2017 at loose head prop for Chris Eves, who moves to the reserves.
A reshuffled bench features the return of Vaea Fifita, who suffered an ankle injury during the Brisbane Tens seven weeks ago, and the appearance of Taranaki loose forward Toa Halafihi, who is set for his Super Rugby debut.
Fifita takes Sam Lousi’s place as lock cover, while Aso drops into the reserves as the utility back covers in place of Pita Ahki, who made his Hurricanes debut against the Reds.
Boyd said the changes reflected a number of factors.
"If you look at Julian and Vince, they’ve both started all five matches so far, so it’s a chance for them to freshen up, but equally it gives Cory and Wes an opportunity.
"At the end of the day we have faith in the depth in our squad, so whoever runs out there we’re confident they’ll do the job. It’s a long season and you need to utilise your whole squad,"
Hurricanes captain Dane Coles was not considered after failing to fully recover from the niggly knee injury he picked up against the Highlanders.
Halfback TJ Perenara will again lead the side in Coles’ absence.
The Hurricanes and Waratahs have played each other 21 times since Super Rugby began with the New Zealanders holding an 11-10 win-loss advantage.
When the sides played in 2016, the Hurricanes came away with a 28-17 win in Sydney, while the Waratahs came away with a 29-24 win last time the teams met in Wellington, in 2015.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Vaea Fifita; 20 Toa Halafihi, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Vince Aso
Date: Friday, April 7
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (17.35 AEST; 07.45 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Glen Newman (New Zealand))