New midfield combination for Hurricanes
Cape Town - The Hurricanes will field a new midfield combination when they face the defending Super Rugby champions, the Crusaders, in Christchurch on Friday.
Recently named All Black Jordie Barrett will move from fullback to outside centre to partner Ngani Laumape after Matt Proctor has failed to recover from a sternum injury he suffered in the Hurricanes' win over the Reds in the last round.
While yet to play first class rugby in midfield, Barrett has trained in the position throughout the season and Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd feels he will have little trouble adapting to the role.
Barrett's move into the midfield sees Nehe Milner-Skudder switch from the wing to fullback, a position he was more than comfortable with.
That change sees the experienced Julian Savea move back to the right wing after he came off the bench against the Reds last week.
Boyd has made two changes to the pack with captain Brad Shields coming back into the starting XV while Michael Fatialofa has recovered from a knee complaint that kept him out of the side last week.
There are a further three changes on the bench where the halves pairing of Finlay Christie and Ihaia West are recalled while Jonah Lowe could make his debut for the Hurricanes after also being named in the reserves.
Boyd said the squad was excited about the opportunity to meet the Crusaders again this season with top spot on the table up for grabs for the winner.
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Chris King, 18 Donald Brighouse, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor
15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Jordie Barrett, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16 James O'Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Jonah Lowe