Hurricanes drop Van Wyk for Crusaders clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ben Lam will play his 50th and final game for the Hurricanes when they take on the Crusaders in Christchurch this Saturday.
Lam’s been with the Hurricanes since 2017, and in that time, he has scored 32 tries (160 points) for the Hurricanes.
The Wellington-based Super Rugby team are now on a three-game winning streak, after dramatically beating the Blues 29–17 in Wellington last weekend.
Co-captain Dane Coles will not travel with the squad due to a minor back complaint. It means Asafo Aumua takes over the No.2 jersey, with Ricky Riccitelli on the bench.
The rest of the starting XV remains largely unchanged, with the only exception being Wes Goosen who gets the nod ahead of Kobus Van Wyk.
On the bench, Chase Tiatia, Tevita Mafileo and Vince Aso come into the fold – with the rest left status quo.
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Hurricanes coach Jason Holland said there was nothing sinister behind the axing of Van Wyk, who announced he was leaving to join English club Leicester Tigers at the end of the season.
“If you’d looked at our selections over the last three or four weeks in the backline we’ve tweaked a few things from week to week and always have a clear idea of how we think we can win a game,” Holland told Stuff.
“We’ve had a plan around our back three and midfielders, and the best way to beat the Crusaders, we reckon, is to have Wes on the wing. I’m sure there will be more tweaks to come in the following weeks.”
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Fraser Armstrong.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Vaea Fifita, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Vince Aso, 23 Chase Tiatia.
Date: Saturday, July 25
Venue: Addington Showgrounds, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.05 (07.05 GMT)
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, Mike Fraser
TMO: Ben O’Keeffe