Hurricanes bring in Van Wyk for Sunwolves
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Hurricanes have named their team to face the Sunwolves in Napier on Saturday.
Gareth Evans, Devan Flanders, Ben May and Isaia Walker-Leawere all play for Hawke’s Bay in the NPC and have been named as part of the 23-man squad at McLean Park.
TJ Perenara will once again captain the side, which is on a winning streak after taking down the Jaguares in Buenos Aires and the Sharks at Sky Stadium.
He’ll be accompanied by a strong backline including Fletcher Smith at flyhalf, Ngani Laumape at inside and Chase Tiatia, who makes a return at fullback.
South African wing Kobus Van Wyk, who moved to New Zealand from the Sharks, will get to show his raw pace to a kiwi crowd, being named in the starting line-up on the right wing.
Meanwhile, Ben Lam will be looking to replicate the try-scoring form he showcased against the Sharks on the left wing.
Up front, there is plenty of firepower too.
James Blackwell comes back into the fold after resting a toe injury and Fraser Armstrong will be replaced by Xavier Numia at loosehead prop.
Whilst the Sunwolves have never beaten the Hurricanes, in last year’s match-up in Tokyo they led 23–10 going into halftime.
Hurricanes: 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Kobus Van Wyk, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Ben May, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 James Marshall, 23 Peter Umaga-Jensen.
Date: Saturday, February 29
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Kick-off: 16.45 (12.45 Japan time; 03.45 GMT)
Referee: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand) Dan Waenga (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)