Fifita shifts to flank for Bulls clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Vaea Fifita will start at blindside flank for the first time this season in a re-shuffled Hurricanes team named to play the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.
ifita, who has started the last four matches at lock, will join openside Ardie Savea and No.8 Brad Shields in a new-look loose forward trio for Round 14 of the 2017 Super Rugby season at Loftus Versfeld.
Fifita's positional shift allows Mark Abbott to return to his regular starting spot in the second row and pushes versatile loose forward Reed Prinsep to the reserves.
There are two other changes to the team that started against the Cheetahs in Wellington with Jordie Barrett returning at fullback and Loni Uhila making his first start since round three at loosehead prop.
Last time the two teams met was in 2015 with the Hurricanes winning a close match 17-13 in Pretoria.
In contrast to the Hurricanes 2017 record of nine wins from 11 matches, the Bulls have won just three matches heading into the weekend.
However, the overall rivalry between the two sides has been a close one with the Hurricanes holding a narrow 10-9 advantage over 19 matches. In Pretoria the teams have split the honours five apiece.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Loni Uhila.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Ben Lam.
Date: Saturday, May 27
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 15.05 (13.05 GMT; 01.05 NZ time, Sunday, May 28)
Referee: Egon Seconds (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Jaco Pretorius (South Africa)
TMO: Christie du Preez (South Africa)