Cape Town - Scrumhalf TJ Perenara will captain the Hurricanes
in their Super Rugby opener against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 10:45 SA time.
Perenara, the Hurricanes most capped No 9 with 111
appearances, will lead the side with club captain Dane Coles named on
“Both TJ and Dane are really experienced in leading the side and we
want to share the load within the squad with two exceptional
individuals,” said Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree.
Plumtree has named a starting XV that contains plenty of Super Rugby experience mixed with a couple of new Hurricanes players.
Former Highlanders flyhalf Fletcher Smith will wear the No 10
jersey after impressing during the pre-season campaign while young
Manawatu lock Liam Mitchell will make his debut in the run-on side.
“Liam has been one player who has really taken his chances since he
came into the environment,” added Plumtree.
“The coaching group have
seen just how hard he has worked and he has been rewarded with a chance
to start in what we think is a pretty exciting squad.”
Mitchell will combine in the second-row with James Blackwell who has
also been a stand-out through the pre-season while 78-game veteran Chris
Eves will start at loosehead prop.
The backline is an experienced unit with Ngani Laumape and Matt
Proctor combining in the midfield with a back three consisting of last
season’s top try scorer Ben Lam, Vince Aso and Jordie Barrett.
The bench is highlighted by the inclusion of Coles while there are
potential Hurricanes debuts for promising prop Xavier Numia and loose
forward Du’Plessis Kirifi.
James Marshall, who won the 2016 Super Rugby title with the
Hurricanes in his last appearance in New Zealand, has also been named on
“We have collectively worked really hard over the last few months, we
believe the squad is really fit and will go the distance and we just
can’t wait to get out there and play,” said Plumtree.
15 Israel Folau, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Adam
Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9
Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob
Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry
Substitutes: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Lachlan
Swinton, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Mack Mason, 23 Cam Clark
Jordie Barrett, 14 Vince Aso, 13
Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ
Perenara (captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5
Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky
Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves
Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Ben May, 19 Isaia
Walker-Leawere, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 James
Marshall, 23 Wes Goosen