Pisi handed Hurricanes start
Pisi handed Hurricanes startSHARE
Samoan flyhalf Tusi Pisi will get his first start for the Hurricanes this season when they take on the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday.
The game is set to be an exciting rematch after the Blues took the honours in week one in Wellington with a 34-20 win over the hosts.
Pisi will start in the No.10 jersey with Beauden Barrett shifting to fullback.
Assistant coach Alama Ieremia explained the change to the backline. “Tusi offers another style of attack with his versatility as a 10, 12 and 15 for us this weekend.
“Beauden is experienced at fullback and having him in this position gives us another option. He has moved between flyhalf and fullback this season when the bench has been introduced, so it is an opportunity to give those combinations more game time,” said Ieremia.
Ben Franks has been bracketed at loosehead prop after missing last week’s game due to a lower back strain. On the bench, Dane Coles has been bracketed with Ash Dixon for the reserve hooker jersey.
Players unavailable this weekend include Victor Vito (calf), Jeremy Thrush (ankle) and Blade Thomson (ankle).
Hurricanes: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Faifili Levave, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Mark Reddish, 3 Ben May, 2 Motu Matu’u, 1 Ben Franks/Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles/Ash Dixon, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Jack Lam, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Reynold Lee-Lo 22 Andre Taylor.
Date: Saturday, April 13
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)