Shields back for 'Canes after England duty
Cape Town - Hurricanes captain Brad Shields will return to the starting XV for his 100th Super Rugby match against the Blues in Wellington on Saturday.
Shields became the 14th member of the Hurricanes centurions club when he played against the Highlanders last month having made 99 Super Rugby matches and the dramatic draw against The British and Irish Lions in 2017.
The much respected Shields joins Tana Umaga, Rodney So'oialo, Ma'a Nonu, Andrew Hore, Neemia Tialata, Conrad Smith, Jeremy Thrush, Cory Jane, Victor Vito, Julian Savea, Dane Coles, Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara to have played 100 matches for the franchise.
Shields missed last week's match against the Brumbies after he returned from South Africa following his Test debut for England.
His return is one of six changes Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has made to the starting side from the line-up that lost to the Brumbies in Canberra last weekend.
Flyhalf Beauden Barrett, who fulfilled the second of his All Black stand-down matches last week, returns while his brother Jordie moves from centre to fullback with Wes Goosen promoted to the No 13 jersey.
There is also a couple of positional changes with Julian Savea moving from the right to the left wing while Nehe Milner-Skudder moves from fullback to the right wing.
Boyd has also made four changes to the pack where lock Vaea Fifita and prop Ben May return along with Shields while the experienced Blade Thomson moves from the reserves into the starting XV.
Boyd said there was no shortage of motivation for the squad as they look to mark Shields' milestone in the right fashion while they were also desperate to maintain their proud home record and push for a quarter-final to be played in front of their own fans at Westpac Stadium.
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Wes Goosen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Ben Lam
15 Matt Duffie, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Rieko Ioane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu (captain), 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Matiaha Martin, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Alex Hodgman
Substitutes: 16 James Parsons, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Ben Nee-Nee, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 TJ Faiane