Hurricanes century for Barrett
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Hurricanes are set to mark a double milestone at Westpac Stadium on Saturday when they host the defending Super Rugby champions Crusaders in their first home match of the season.
Beauden Barrett will play his 100th match for the Hurricanes while veteran prop Ben May will bring up a century of appearances in Super Rugby having previously represented the Crusaders and Chiefs.
Barrett has played a key role in the success of the Hurricanes in recent seasons and it seems fitting that he will be able to mark the occasion in front of family and friends at Westpac Stadium.
Having made his debut against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in 2011, Barrett has gone on to score more than 1000 points in Super Rugby while he has paired with fellow All Black Thomas Perenara 81 times in the Hurricanes jersey.
Barrett will become the 12th Hurricanes player to bring up 100 appearances as he follows Dane Coles, Andrew Hore, Cory Jane, Ma'a Nonu, Julian Savea, Conrad Smith, Rodney So'oialo, Jeremy Thrush, Neemia Tialata, Tana Umaga and Victor Vito.
May has also been a regular fixture in the Hurricanes jersey having played 64 Super Rugby matches for the club since making his debut against the Stormers in Cape Town in 2012.
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has named an unchanged starting line-up from the one who defeated the Jaguares 34-9 in the last round.
The only changes are on the bench where two-game All Blacks hooker Asafo Aumua is set to make his Hurricanes debut if called upon.
Aumua successfully came through 40 minutes of rugby for the Hurricanes Under-20 side last week after being sidelined with a rib injury.
There could also be Hurricanes debuts for prop Marcel Renata, who has joined the squad after Alex Fidow was injured against the Jaguares, and halfback Richard Judd who has also joined the squad as injury cover.
In the final change on the bench, Ihaia West returns after he started against the Bulls in South Africa.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara. 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Blade Thompson, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Vince Aso.
Date: Saturday, March 10
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)