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Beauden Barrett to captain Hurricanes in face off against Australian conference leaders

Beauden Barrett will captain the Hurricanes for a second time this season against the Rebels at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

With Dane Coles unavailable and TJ Perenara on the second of his All Black rest weeks, Barrett will lead the side in the round 12 Investec Super Rugby match.

Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree has made three changes from the starting XV from last week’s impressive 47-19 win over the Chiefs.

With Perenara out, Richard Judd makes his second start of the season while Jeff To’omaga-Allen comes in at tighthead prop after Ben May has been ruled out with a minor injury.

There is a first start for lock Isaia Walker-Leawere in what will be his 10th appearance for the Hurricanes since he made his debut against the Brumbies last season.

Plumtree has also made several changes to the bench after opting to go with a six-two forward-backs split.

The experienced Toby Smith returns after several weeks out with a high ankle sprain while Alex Fidow comes into the matchday squad, while young flanker Du’Plessis Kirifi also returns along with halfback Finlay Christie.

“We have really targeted the five matches between our two byes which we believe will be vital to where we finish the regular season on the table,” he said.

“We obviously started the block of games well against the Chiefs and we really want to carry on with the momentum we got from that against a Rebels side we expect to really challenge us.”

The Hurricanes squad to face the Rebels is:

15 Jordie Barrett
14 Wes Goosen
13 Matt Proctor
12 Ngani Laumape
11 Chase Tiatia
10 Beauden Barrett (c)
9 Richard Judd
8 Reed Prinsep
7 Ardie Savea
6 Vaea Fifita
5 Isaia Walker-Leawere
4 James Blackwell
3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen
2 Asafo Aumua
1 Fraser Armstrong

Reserves

16 Ricky Riccitelli
17 Toby Smith
18 Alex Fidow
19 Kane Le’aupepe
20 Liam Mitchell
21 Du’Plessis Kirifi
22 Finlay Christie
23 James Marshall

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Beauden Barrett to captain Hurricanes in face off against Australian conference leaders