Coles hits his century

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:12
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Hurricanes captain Dane Coles will become the latest Super Rugby centurion when his side face the Lions in the Super Rugby semifinal on Saturday.

The Wellington hooker’s return is one of two changes to the Hurricanes starting side with the competition’s leading try scorer Vince Aso reclaiming his place at centre in a reshuffled backline.
 
Coles will become the eleventh player to achieve 100 caps for the Hurricanes after Andrew Hore, Cory Jane, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Rodney So'oialo, Jeremy Thrush, Neemia Tialata, Tana Umaga, Victor Vito and Julian Savea.
 
"It will be a massive honour to join those players in reaching a milestone that I never thought I would achieve," he said.

"I love pulling on the yellow and black jersey and representing the Hurricanes region and I’ve treasured every opportunity,"
 
It will be Coles’ first start since he suffered concussion against the Highlanders in round four and comes a week after his successful return via the bench against the Brumbies in Canberra.
 
Coles, who made his Hurricanes debut against the Waratahs in Wellington in 2009, replaces Ricky Riccitelli in an otherwise unchanged forward pack.
 
The return of Aso from the groin injury that kept him out of the quarterfinal sees wing Julian Savea move to the reserves at the expense of veteran Cory Jane.
 
Aso replaces Jordie Barrett at centre with the latter moving back to fullback in place of Nehe Milner-Skudder.
 
Milner-Skudder shifts to the right wing with Wes Goosen switching sides to start in the No.11 jersey previously held by Savea.
 
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said Coles’ return to the starting side was a boost for what would be a special occasion.
 
"Colesy is a leader and a great competitor and I know this group feeds off his presence, so it’s good timing to have him fit and firing in time for what we expect to be a tough semifinal.
 
"He epitomises what the Hurricanes are about as a club on and off the field and although he probably won’t want anyone to make a fuss, I’m sure his milestone will provide some motivation for his teammates,"
 
Boyd said his side would have to lift several notches against the Lions.
 
"They are a quality team and have shown that throughout the year. Ellis Park is a tough place to play and with the home crowd behind them we are under no illusions about the challenge we will face in Johannesburg,"

The Hurricanes have played the Lions 20 times previously winning 17 of those matches and losing three, but the teams have not met in 2017.
 
The two teams last played in the 2016 Super Rugby final at Westpac Stadium where the Hurricanes won 20-3 to win the franchises' inaugural title.
 
Fourteen of the Hurricanes match day 23 on Saturday took part in last year’s final.

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

Date: Saturday, July 29
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 14.30 (12.30 GMT; 00.30, Sunday, July 30, NZ time)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
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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