Savea brothers reunited for Super Rugby Aotearoa opener
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ardie Savea’s first game as captain of the Hurricanes, will also be his 100th cap for the side when they take on the Blues in Wellington on Saturday.
Ardie’s older sibling Julian will line up for his first game for the Hurricanes since 2018, making Saturday a very special day for the brothers.
The Hurricanes have not played a season opener in front of a Wellington crowd for eight years, which also happened to be a fixture against the Blues.
Head coach, Jason Holland, will rely on the squad’s experience as the team looks to kick off the season with a win.
Fraser Armstrong, Asafo Aumua and Tyrel Lomax make up the starting front row with James Blackwell and Scott Scrafton given the locking duties.
Jonathan Taumateine has been awarded the start at scrumhalf, whilst Bay of Plenty’s Luke Campbell eagerly awaits his Super Rugby debut from the bench.
He’s in good company though, joined by the likes of new All Black Peter Umaga-Jensen, Du’Plessis Kirifi and Reed Prinsep.
In last year’s Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, the Hurricanes and Blues played out two superb games – the Blues won 30–20 at Eden Park, only for the Hurricanes to win 29–27 in Wellington a few weeks later.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Jonathan Taumateine, 8 Devan Flanders, 7 Ardie Savea (captain), 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Fraser Armstrong.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Luke Campbell, 22 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23 Salesi Rayasi.
Date: Saturday, February 27
Kick-off: 19.05 (06.05 GMT)
Venue: Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser, James Doleman
TMO: Brendon Pickerill