Barrett on Hurricanes bench for Bulls clash
Cape Town - All Black flyhalf Beauden Barrett has been included on the Hurricanes bench for their Super Rugby clash against the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday (17:15 kick-off).
Barrett’s bench role is largely due to the fact that he did not feature in any of the pre-season warm-up matches and that he arrived late in South Africa after attending the weddings of his brother and a close friend.
Former Blues player Ihaia West will now start at flyhalf and he is one of three new caps named in the Hurricanes starting team by head coach Chris Boyd.
Former Wallabies prop Toby Smith will start at loosehead, while the other new cap in the starting XV is Hawke's Bay No 8 Gareth Evans. He will start alongside experienced loose forwards Ardie Savea and Brad Shields, who will also captain the 'Canes.
Three more players will have the opportunity to make their debut off the bench, with Boyd naming prop Alex Fidow, lock Murray Douglas and scrumhalf Jamie Booth among the reserves.
There is no shortage of experience and class on the bench, with World Rugby Player of the Year Barrett joining the likes of Blade Thomson and Ben Lam.
Thomson has made a more than solid comeback to play after having his past two seasons seriously impacted by shoulder injuries.
Despite having a limited amount of time on the field during the Hurricanes successful pre-season campaign, a number of players showed their readiness for action in last week's pre-season win over the Blues.
That has given Boyd and the rest of the coaching staff confidence to start the likes of vice-captain TJ Perenara, Vaea Fifita and Ngani Laumape.
The Hurricanes will be looking to make it four wins in a row against the Bulls and continue their good form in South Africa in recent seasons that has seen them win four of their five regular season matches here.
It could also be a memorable game for Barrett if he makes it on to the field as he is set to become just the fourth player in Super Rugby history to score 1 000 points.
Matt Proctor, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes
Goosen, 10 Ihaia West, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6
Brad Shields (captain), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky
Ricctelli, 1 Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16 James O'Reilly, 17 Chris
Eves, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Jamie
Booth, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ben Lam