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Captain Ardie Savea named for Hurricanes return vs the Waratahs

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea will make his return to the starting side on Friday after serving a one game suspension for a throat-slitting gesture against the Rebels in Super Round.


Savea was cited for the incident a fortnight ago, and was later ruled out of the teams New Zealand derby against the Blues in Wellington last weekend.

The Hurricanes have made three changes to their starting XV ahead of Friday night’s blockbuster against the NSW Waratahs at Sky Stadium.

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Savea has been named to start at No. 8 for the Hurricanes, and will replace rising star Peter Lakai who moves out of the teams matchday 23.

Hooker Asafo Aumua has also been promoted to the starting side after a strong performances, while veteran Dane Coles will look to provide some impact off the bench.

James Blackwell and Isaia Walker-Leawere will start in the second-row for the fourth time this season, while Devan Flanders and Du’Plessis Kirifi have been named on the flanks.

As for the backline, Cameron Roigard and Brett Cameron will partner each other in the halves again this week after a promising display against the Blues.


The pair will look to lead an exciting backline around the park on Friday night, which includes just one change.


Winger Kini Naholo is set to make his Hurricanes debut on Friday night, following stints with both the Chiefs and Crusaders.

Once heralded as a schoolboy superstar, Naholo famously scored six tries in one half for the Hastings Boys’ High 1st XV in 2017.


“Kini has got himself into good shape and it looking sharp,” coach Jason Holland said in a statement.

“He’s a big threat with ball in hand, and has earned this opportunity to start.”

Veteran lock Dominic Bird could also make his Hurricanes debut off the bench this week, while Bailyn Sulivan is also set to make his return from a stint on the sidelines.

The match between the Hurricanes and NSW Waratahs is set to kick-off at 7:05pm on Friday night at Sky Stadium.


Hurricanes team to take on the Waratahs

  1. Xavier Numia
  2. Asafo Aumua
  3. Tyrel Lomax

4 James Blackwell

  1. Isaia Walker-Leawere
  2. Devan Flanders
  3. Du’Plessis Kirifi
  4. Ardie Savea (c)
  5. Cameron Roigard
  6. Brett Cameron
  7. Kini Naholo
  8. Jordie Barrett
  9. Billy Proctor
  10. Julian Savea
  11. Josh Moorby



  1. Dane Coles
  2. Pouri Rakete-Stones
  3. Pasilio Tosi
  4. Dominic Bird
  5. Braydon Iose
  6. Jamie Booth
  7. Aidan Morgan
  8. Bailyn Sulivan


Unavailable: Ruben Love, Caleb Delany, Tyler Laubscher, Reed Prinsep, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Justin Sangster, TJ Perenara, Jacob Devery


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