Cape Town - Tighthead prop Chris Eves and midfielder Willis Halaholo have
been called up to the Hurricanes starting XV for Saturday's crunch
Super Rugby match against the Waratahs in Sydney.
Eves comes into the starting team for Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, who
broke his arm during the Hurricanes' 37-27 win over the Blues last
weekend, while Halaholo earns a promotion from the reserves after Vince
Aso was ruled out with a calf strain.
Experienced prop Ben May and midfielder Ngani Laumape, who has
recovered from a groin strain, come into the reserves, while openside
Callum Gibbins returns to the squad after skipping the Blues match due
Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd believes it is a great opportunity for the players who had been called up to the starting side.
"Chris did a great job for us against the Blues when he came on early
in the match and Willis has been a really effective impact player all
season, so I'm very comfortable with both of those changes," he said.
Eves has made 12 appearances this season and will make his third
start of the season against the Waratahs after previously playing at
loosehead against the Force and Kings.
Halaholo, who has appeared 10 times in 2016, also makes his third
start after wearing the number 13 jersey against the Kings and Jaguares.
Boyd said the players were fully aware of the importance of the Waratahs match.
"It's fairly obvious the points table is very tight in the New
Zealand Conference and we are only a few weeks away from the playoffs,
so I think a lot of teams know every point will be important from here
on," he added.
The Hurricanes are third in the New Zealand Conference, just two
points behind leaders the Chiefs, one behind the Crusaders, and sixth on
the overall competition ladder.
The Waratahs are also in the playoff hunt, tied on points with the
Brumbies at the top of the Australian Conference and come into the
penultimate round of the regular season off the back of big wins against
the Chiefs and Sunwolves.
Last time the Hurricanes played the Waratahs was in Wellington last season with the visitors winning a high scoring match 29-24.
Andrew Kellaway, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Rob Horne,
11 Matt Carraro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7
Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Will Skelton, 4 David Dennis, 3
Tom Robertson, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Paddy Ryan
16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Jack
Dempsey, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Reece Robinson
15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11
Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie
Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Chris
Eves, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Reg Goodes
Substitutes: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Ben May, 18 Loni
Uhila, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22
Ngani Laumape, 23 Jason Woodward