NZ star to finally make first start of season
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Dane Coles has been named in the Hurricanes’ starting line-up for the first time this year, as the team gets set to take on the Chiefs in Hamilton.
It means Friday’s game will also be the first time the co-captaincy between Coles and TJ Perenara will formally come into effect.
The Wellington-based Super Rugby squad is looking to bounce back, after a tough loss at home against the Blues last Saturday.
With Tyrel Lomax suspended for three weeks, Ben May, comes into the fold as tighthead prop.
There are a few other changes up front with Fraser Armstrong replacing Xavier Numia, who’s recovering from a head knock.
James Blackwell makes his way back into the starting XV whilst Devan Flanders is promoted to the No.6 jersey.
Meanwhile, Coles’ return will mean Asafo Aumua will start the game on the bench.
Head coach, Jason Holland, says there’s plenty of competition for the number 2 jersey.
“Colesy wants to put his hand up and grab that role. We’ve got three awesome boys fighting for a chance to start, so they’re all aware they need to take the chance when it’s given and play well.”
There is no changes made to the backline this week, with Fletcher Smith, Ben Lam, Ngani Laumape, Vince Aso, Kobus Van Wyk and Jordie Barrett all included.
The Hurricanes haven’t played the Chiefs since their 47–19 win in Wellington last April.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Kobus Van Wyk, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (co-captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles (co-captain), 1 Fraser Armstrong.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow 19 Scott Scrafton, 20 Vaea Fifita, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Wes Goosen.
Date: Friday, March 13
Venue: FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.05 (06.05 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Peterson (New Zealand)
— Hurricanes Rugby (@Hurricanesrugby) March 10, 2020