Hurricanes take no chances for Chiefs trip
Cape Town - The Hurricanes have made minimal changes to their starting XV for their New Zealand Super Rugby derby with the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday (kick-off 09:35 SA time).
Overall, Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has made just three changes to the team that will run out at Waikato Stadium from the one which faced the Blues in the last round.
Prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen is promoted from the bench along with lock Michael Fatialofa in changes to the pack while the competition's leading try scorer Ben Lam also returns.
Lam is the only change to a backline which produced six tries against the Blues, including a franchise record equalling four from inside centre Ngani Laumape who will again form a midfield combination with Wes Goosen.
Boyd has also made a few tweaks to the bench where Chris Eves, Reed Prinsep and Finlay Christie all return after a week away.
The Hurricanes need to win, get a bonus point or avoid a heavy defeat against the Chiefs to guarantee a home quarter-final the following week.
Boyd said there was real determination in the squad to perform in Hamilton, not only to maintain momentum heading into the playoffs, but to ensure they had a home quarter-final in front of their fans.
15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Charlie Ngatai (captain), 11 Shaun Stevenson, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Jesse Parete, 7 Mitchell Karpik, 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Sam Prattley
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Michael Allardice, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Tiaan Falcon, 23 Johnny Faauli
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Wes Goosen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16 James O'Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Gareth Evans, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Julian Savea