Hurricanes have a new captain, as star All Black returns
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Hurricanes coach Jason Holland continues to utilise his squad to create competition for positions.
Highly respected loose forward Reed Prinsep will captain the Hurricanes in their Round Three Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash against the Force at Napier’s McLean Park on Friday.
Prinsep has been a constant in the Hurricanes loose forwards over a long period of time with his impressive work rate and decision making part of his leadership qualities.
The 28-year-old takes over the captaincy from Dane Coles, who has been given the week off.
Dynamic hooker Asafo Aumua takes over the No.2 jersey in one of a number of changes to the forward pack which helped beat the Rebels last week.
Impressive lock Isaia Walker-Leawere comes into the second row while the experience of utility loose forward Gareth Evans will be used in the run-on side after he returned to action off the bench against the Rebels.
Scrumhalf Luke Campbell also returns to the starting XV, while Orbyn Leger will again start at flyhalf – after Ruben Love was unavailable due to a shoulder injury that wasn’t 100 percent ready for this match.
There are also changes in the midfield and outside backs – with Salesi Rayasi returning to the left wing and Peter Umaga-Jensen partnering Ngani Laumape in the centres.
Holland has also mixed up the bench which sees the exciting return of club captain Ardie Savea, following his knee injury during Super Rugby Aotearoa.
“There will obviously be some focus on Ardie’s return, which is great for us, but the squad as a whole are really looking forward to trying to improve week by week, which is our major focus,” Holland said.
“The competition has brought some real energy to everyone and we see that in our preparation. We’re also looking forward to mixing with our great fans in Hawke’s Bay where we have really enjoyed great support and had some fantastic games over the last few years.”
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Orbyn Leger, 9 Luke Campbell, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep (captain), 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 James Blackwell, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Cam Roigard, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Vince Aso.
Date: Friday, May 28
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Kick-off: 19.05 (15.05 Australian Western Time; 07.05 GMT)
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Mike Fraser