Smith returns to lead Canes
Smith returns to lead CanesSHARE
All Black Conrad Smith has been named captain of the Hurricanes team to host the Chiefs in their final pre-season outing in Mangatainoka on Saturday.
Smith will make his first appearance in the black and yellow jersey this year, after being rested for the earlier Super Rugby warm-up matches.
Hurricanes head coach Mark Hammett said they are looking forward to take on the defending Super Rugby champions.
"Playing the Chiefs will be a fantastic match," Hammett said.
"As defending champs, they will be fierce competitors and will help prepare our team for another big season ahead."
The Hurricanes coach said they can't wait to head back to Mangatainoka this weekend.
"There is a real sense of rugby community up there," Hammett said, adding: "It is great we can be involved with grassroots rugby and take this game to the heart of Hurricanes territory."
Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Reynold LeeLo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements – from: Ash Dixon, Ben May, Reggie Goodes, James Broadhurst, Mark Reddish, Blade Thomson, Ardie Savea, Faifili Levave, Mike Coman, Chris Smylie, James Marshall, Tim Bateman, Ope Peleseuma, Richard Buckman.
Date: Saturday, February 16
Venue: Mangatainoka RFC, Mangatainoka
Kick-off: 15.00 (02.00 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant referees: Richard Kelly, Cam Stone