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    All Black trio return for Hurricanes

    2017-07-13 08:48

    Wellington - All Blacks TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett and Ardie Savea return to the Hurricanes starting XV for their Super Rugby clash against the Crusaders at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

    The key trio represents the only changes to the team that started during last month's famous 31-31 draw with the British & Irish Lions.

    Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has named his strongest possible side for what shapes as one of the matches of the season.

    Perenara replaces Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi at scrumhalf and reclaims the captaincy from Brad Shields, Barrett slots back into the No 10 jersey for Otere Black, while Ardie Savea takes over at openside flank from Callum Gibbins.

    Black drops out of the match-day 23, meaning Jordie Barrett will again provide cover at flyhalf for his older brother.

    Gibbins, who was outstanding during the draw against the Lions, takes his place on a bench that features the return of prop Loni Uhila and a potential debut for hooker James O'Reilly.

    O'Reilly comes into the squad for Leni Apisai, who has been ruled out due to an ankle injury picked up playing club rugby last weekend.

    The Hurricanes regular season record heading into the match is won 11 and lost three matches, including a 20-12 loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch on May 13.

    The Crusaders have won all 14 of their matches in 2017.

    Teams:

    Hurricanes

    15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May.

    Subsitutes: 16 James O'Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22Wes Goosen, 23 Cory Jane

    Crusaders

    15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 David Havili, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

    Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Sean Wainui

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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