Canes turn to Samoan duo
The Hurricanes welcome back their Samoan international duo for their final home match of the season against the Highlanders on Saturday.
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has made only two changes from the starting XV that faced the Chiefs last Friday.
Samoan flyer Alapati Leiua, who made his Test debut in last month’s four-nation tournament in South Africa, returns to the right wing while experienced loose forward Faifili Levave comes in at No.6
On the bench, a second new Samoan international, Jack Lam, returns to the matchday 22.
Players unavailable this week include Tim Bateman (knee), Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (knee), Motu Matu’u (arm), Tusi Pisi (hand) and Ardie Savea (ankle).
These two sides have met each other 20 times since the competition began, with the Hurricanes achieving 12 wins and the Highlanders eight. Since 2007 though, there has never been more than a seven-point margin in the score line.
Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Reynold Lee-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Reggie Goodes, 17 John Schwalger, 18 Mark Reddish, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Jack Lam, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Matt Proctor.
Date: Saturday, July 6
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)