Hurricanes tweak pack for Sharks showdown
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Hurricanes have again made minimal changes to their squad as they prepare to face the Sharks in their Super Rugby match at Napier's McLean Park on Friday.
With four straight wins, the Hurricanes sit jointly on top of the New Zealand conference with the Crusaders having played one less match.
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has opted to make just two changes from the side that beat the Rebels 50-19 in Melbourne last Friday.
Both are in the pack where All Blacks prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen replaces Ben May while lock Michael Fatialofa comes in for Vaea Fifita.
Fatialofa and Toomaga-Allen both came off the bench in Melbourne and May and Fifita will simply make a swap for them, giving the Hurricanes the same matchday 23 as the last round.
Openside flanker Sam Henwood, who impressed in his Hurricanes debut against the Rebels, will line up for a second match running as Ardie Savea continues to recover from a rib injury.
Matt Proctor also continues to make good progress from a similar injury Savea suffered against the Highlanders.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Wes Goosen.
Date: Friday, April 6
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)