Beauden Barrett at fullback

Thu, 18 May 2017 07:50
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Beauden Barrett will start at fullback and Otere Black at flyhalf in a reshuffled Hurricanes team.

The defending Super Rugby champions host the Cheetahs in Wellington on Saturday.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has made four changes to the team that started against the Crusaders - with lock Sam Lousi set to make his starting debut in the second row.

Black will make his second start of the season in the No.10 jersey, Wes Goosen replaces Cory Jane on the right wing, and Ben May returns at loosehead prop for Chris Eves, who will miss the match due to injury.

While Black started at flyhalf in the season opener against the Sunwolves in Tokyo, Barrett has worn the No.10 jersey in the last nine matches.

Barrett's move back to fullback allows younger brother Jordie to have a well-earned spell on the bench in his first season of Super Rugby.

Jordie Barrett has appeared in every match in 2017 and started the past seven.

Lousi will make his fourth appearance of the campaign, but just his first start since joining the franchise from the Waratahs this year.

He will partner fellow Tongan Vaea Fifita in the second row with Mark Abbott taking a break on the bench after starting the past eight matches.

In the front row, May makes his fifth start at loosehead prop. Eves drops out of the matchday 23 for the first time in 2017 with Mike Kainga returning to the reserves.

Out on the wing, Goosen makes his third start in the No.14 jersey with Jane dropping out of the matchday 23 and Ben Lam coming onto a reserves bench that also features the return of loose forward Callum Gibbins from a shoulder injury.

With a tough tour to South Africa and Perth coming up, Boyd said it was important to manage some of his player's workloads.

"We have some guys who have shouldered a particularly big load through the first ten matches, and other guys who, through injury have not had a lot of time."

Hurricanes: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Vaea Fifita, 4 Sam Lousi, 3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Mike Kainga, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Jordie Barrett, 23 Ben Lam.

Date: Saturday, May 20
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Will Houston (Australia), Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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