'Canes to unleash deadly trio against Blues
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Super Rugby's leading try-scorer Vince Aso and the Savea brothers Ardie and Julian will return to the Hurricanes starting side for Saturday's Super Rugby match against the Blues at Eden Park.
Aso will start at centre in place of Matt Proctor, who will miss the match due to concussion, while Julian Savea reclaims his place on the left wing after being given a week off to re-charge his batteries.
The backline re-jig means Cory Jane shifts into the reserves with Wes Goosen switching to the right wing following a strong performance against the Waratahs.
In the forwards, Ardie Savea returns at No.8 two weeks after straining his calf against the Reds in Brisbane, pushing Reed Prinsep back to the reserves where he takes the place of Toa Halafihi.
Aso and the Savea brothers have collectively scored 16 tries during the Hurricanes opening six matches of the season. Aso is the competition's equal leading try scorer alongside inside centre Ngani Laumape.
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said the selections had been fairly straight forward.
"Julian and Vince have both been in great form this season and we always expected them to return to the starting side for the Blues and Wes demanded selection after taking his opportunity against the Waratahs.
"Matty Proctor picked up a fairly minor head knock, so he wasn't considered and he'll go through the necessary concussion protocols. We're lucky that Vince is equally comfortable at centre as he is on the wing."
The teams played twice in 2016 with the Hurricanes winning on two occasions, 23-19 at Eden Park, and 37-27 at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 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 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Cory Jane.
Date: Saturday, April 15
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 18.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)