Hurricanes rest All Black trio for Sunwolves
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Hurricanes have named a largely experienced side to meet the Sunwolves for their round 10 Super Rugby match in Tokyo on Friday.
Fresh from their first bye of the season, Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree has made four changes to the starting XV which defeated the Highlanders 31-28 in round eight.
Beauden and Jordie Barrett, along with Ardie Savea, are on an All Blacks rest week and have not traveled to Japan.
Their absence sees experienced centre Matt Proctor return to the run-on side with Fletcher Smith named at flyhalf and Du’Plessis Kirifi at openside flank.
The other change sees young lock Liam Mitchell named to start in place of Kane Le’aupepe.
There are five changes to the bench which features the return of James Marshall who has recovered from a shoulder injury he suffered in round one against the Waratahs.
Plumtree has reverted back to a five-three split on the bench that includes Richard Judd and exciting young midfielder Billy Proctor.
“There is no doubt the bye came at a good time for the squad which played 10 games in a row when you include our pre-season matches,” Plumtree said.
“The players came back into work on Saturday and they have enjoyed a freshen up. They are really looking forward to facing a Sunwolves side who are also fresh off the bye and will be looking for a good performance in front of their home crowd.”
Hurricanes: 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Fraser Armstrong.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Sam Henwood, 21 Richard Judd, 22 James Marshall, 23 Billy Proctor
Date: Friday, April 19
Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 19.00 (10.00 GMT, 22.00 New Zealand time)
Assistant Referees: tbc