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Shields brings up Super century

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Brad Shields brings up Super century

Hurricanes captain Brad Shields will return to the starting lineup for his 100th Super Rugby match against the Blues at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.

Shields became the 14th member of the Hurricanes centurions club when he played against the Highlanders last month having played 99 Super Rugby matches and the dramatic draw against The British and Irish Lions in 2017.

The much-respected Shields joins Tana Umaga, Rodney So’oialo, Ma’a Nonu, Andrew Hore, Neemia Tialata, Conrad Smith, Jeremy Thrush, Cory Jane, Victor Vito, Julian Savea, Dane Coles, Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara to have played 100 matches for the club.

Shields missed last week’s match against the Brumbies after he returned from South Africa following his test debut for England.

His return is one of six changes Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has made to the starting side from the line-up that lost to the Brumbies.

First five-eighth Beauden Barrett, who fulfilled the second of his All Black stand-down matches last week, returns while his brother Jordie moves from centre to fullback with Wes Goosen promoted to the No 13 jersey.

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There is also a couple of positional changes with Julian Savea moving from the right to the left wing while Nehe Milner-Skudder moves from fullback to the right wing.
Boyd has also made four changes to the pack where lock Vaea Fifita and prop Ben May return along with Shields while the experienced Blade Thomson moves from the reserves into the starting XV.

Boyd said there was no shortage of motivation for the squad as they look to mark Shields’ milestone in the right fashion while they were also desperate to maintain their proud home record and push for a quarterfinal to be played in front of their own fans at Westpac Stadium.

The Hurricanes have won their last six matches against the Blues, their best winning sequence against a New Zealand side.

HURRICANES

15. Jordie Barrett, 14. Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13. Wes Goosen, 12. Ngani Laumape, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. TJ Perenara, 8. Blade Thomson, 7. Sam Henwood, 6. Brad Shields (C), 5. Sam Lousi, 4. Vaea Fifita, 3. Ben May, 2. Ricky Riccitelli, 1. Toby Smith.
Reserves: 16. James O’Reilly, 17. Fraser Armstrong, 18. Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19. Michael Fatialofa, 20. Gareth Evans, 21. Jamie Booth, 22. Ihaia West, 23. Ben Lam.

In other news:

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Brad Shields brings up Super century