Barrett-less Hurricanes make 11 changes for Western Force
Hurricanes coach Jason Holland has heavily rotated his squad ahead of the Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals, making 11 changes to the team that ran out 45-22 winners against the Rebels last weekend.
The Hurricanes will travel to Perth to take on the Western Force this Saturday and will have to make do without talisman Jordie Barrett who, alongside Holland, has remained in New Zealand due to the flu, while captain Ardie Savea makes his return via the bench.
Du’Plessis Kirifi is the only player to hold his spot in the loose forward trio with 2022 debutant Caleb Delany taking over on the blindside flank from Blake Gibson, who drops to the bench, and Brayden Iose making his first appearance on the comeback from injury after last featuring in the Hurricanes’ loss to Moana Pasifika in late March.
TJ Perenara maintains his spot at halfback and will once again captain the side while Aidan Morgan earns his fourth start in as many weeks in the No 10 jersey.
The outside backs have received a complete refresh for this weekend, with Josh Moorby (who was a late call-up onto the left wing for Salesi Rayasi last weekend) taking over from Ruben Love at fullback, Rayasi reclaiming his spot in the No 11 jersey and Wes Goosen named on the right wing.
Aumua, Xavier Numia, Tevita Mafileo, Blake Gibson and Savea will cover the forwards from the bench while Jamie Booth, Jackson Garden-Bachop and Teihorangi Walden will do the same for the backs, with Walden making his first appearance since the rematch with Moana Pasifika in April.
“We’re pleased to see Brayden return from injury at number 8 as he was playing great rugby before he broke his wrist. Ardie and Blake will be massive in the back half of the game for us,” said Holland.
“In the backs, Sullivan, Goosen, Rayasi and Booth have all recovered from illness and will be desperate to take their opportunities on Saturday. We are confident they will do a good job,” said Holland.
“It’s been a crazy few weeks with flu going through our camp and we have some boys that couldn’t travel. We have built some excellent depth and have an exciting 23 for Saturday night in Perth.”
Saturday’s match between the Hurricanes and Western Force is set to kick off at 8:00pm AWST (midnight in New Zealand) on Saturday night and is the fourth game of a quadruple-header, which kicks off with the Drua taking on the Chiefs in Fiji.
Should the Drua trip up the Chiefs, the Hurricanes could jump in fourth spot on the overall ladder with a win over the Force, earning themselves a home quarter-final. A loss, on the other hand, could see the Hurricanes drop to sixth if the Waratahs or Reds are able to upset the Blues or Crusaders in the final round of the Super Rugby Pacific regular season for 2022.
Hurricanes team to face the Western Force:
1. Pouri Rakete-Stones
2. Dane Coles
3. Owen Franks
4. James Blackwell
5. Justin Sangster
6. Caleb Delany
7. Du’Plessis Kirifi
8. Brayden Iose
9. TJ Perenara ©
10. Aidan Morgan
11. Salesi Rayasi
12. Billy Proctor
13. Bailyn Sullivan
14. Wes Goosen
15. Josh Moorby
16. Asafo Aumua
17. Xavier Numia
18. Tevita Mafileo
19. Blake Gibson
20. Ardie Savea
21. Jamie Booth
22. Jackson Garden-Bachop
23. Teihorangi Walden
Unavailable for selection: Devan Flanders, Reed Prinsep, Pepesana Patafilo, Dominic Bird, Ruben Love, Alex Fidow, Tyrel Lomax, Isaia Walker-Leawere, TK Howden, Tyler Laubscher, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Jordie Barrett
Join free and tell us what you really think!Join Free