All Blacks boost as Milner-Skudder, Barrett return

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 07:50
Large aaron cruden and beauden barrett 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wing sensation Nehe Milner-Skudder will return from a lengthy injury lay-off for the Hurricanes this weekend, placing him in the frame for All Blacks selection against the British and Irish Lions.

The 26-year-old was named on the bench for Hurricanes' Super Rugby clash with Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

In more good news for All Black selectors, star flyhalf Beauden Barrett will start for the Hurricanes after being cleared of concussion following a head knock which caused him to miss last week's victory against the Bulls in South Africa.

Milner-Skudder has been out since mid-March, when he broke his right foot in a loss to the Chiefs, leaving him in a race against time to get fit for the Lions.

"It's great to have Nehe back in the mix," Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said.

"I know he's worked extremely hard during his rehab and he can't wait to pull on the Hurricanes jersey and get back into the campaign."

Milner-Skudder enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2015, helping the All Blacks to World Cup victory with six tries in the tournament.

But he missed the 2016 season with a shoulder injury and managed only two Super Rugby games this year before breaking his foot.

If fully fit, the elusive wing is a strong contender to make the All Blacks line-up for the first Test against the Lions on June 24.

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Brad Shields, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Vaea Fifita, 4 Sam Lousi, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Loni Uhila.    
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Nehe Milner-Skudder.

Date: Saturday, June 3
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 19.55 (23.55 NZ time; 11.55 GMT)
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28