Coles, Barrett, Milner-Skudder to face Rebels
Cape Town - Dane Coles, Beauden Barrett and Nehe Milner-Skudder have been
named to start the Hurricanes first home match of the Super Rugby
season against the Rebels at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
The star trio are among four personnel changes to the Hurricanes team
that ran out against the Sunwolves in Week 1, the other being the
elevation of Reed Prinsep to No 8 in place of the injured Blade
Hurricanes hooker and captain Coles and flyhalf Barrett swap places
with Ricky Riccitelli and Otere Black respectively after coming off the
reserves during the team's 83-17 win in Tokyo.
Milner-Skudder has recovered from the hamstring strain that ruled him
out of the season opener to replace Jordie Barrett at fullback.
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said the selection of the team had
been fairly straight forward with the changes largely part of a plan for
the opening two matches of the season.
"Dane and Beauden were always going to come back into the starting
team and Nehe would have started Round 1 if he'd been fit, so the
selections certainly aren't form related," he said.
"Blade Thomson dislocated his shoulder in Japan and is having scans
to determine the severity of his injury, so Reed gets an early chance to
stake a claim at the back of the scrum."
Boyd said the challenge for his team was to put their first up result behind them and prepare for a battle against the Rebels.
"We certainly took some positives away from our first match, but I
think there is a realisation among the group that this week represents a
big step up and we are expecting the Rebels to be highly motivated
after their loss to the Blues.
"I know the players are really excited at the prospect of getting out
in front of their home crowd for the first time this year."
There are four further changes to the Hurricanes match-day 23 in the
reserves where Riccitelli, Black and Jordie Barrett are joined by lock
Mark Abbott, who was unavailable for the trip to Japan due to a personal
15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14
Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10
Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad
Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeffery
To'omaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Chris Eves
16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Ben May, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Mark Abbott, 20
Callum Gibbins, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Otere Black, 23 Jordie Barrett