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Final Hurricanes team of the regular season named to play Highlanders

By Ben Smith
Asafo Aumua leads the Hurricanes out of the tunnel. Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

The Hurricanes will look to continue their seven-game home winning streak when they take on the Highlanders at Sky Stadium on Saturday afternoon.


They have been boosted by the return of star hooker Asafo Aumua, who was in career best form early in the season and one of the most dominant players in the competition.

Aumua’s presence will add dynamism to the front row that includes tighthead prop Pasilio Tosi, one of the biggest players in New Zealand.

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Captain Brad Shields is unavailable meaning All Black midfielder Jordie Barrett will take over for the Kiwi derby, while Devan Flankers moves to blindside to fill Shields’ absence.

Du’Plessis Kirifi has been named to start at openside with Peter Lakai on the bench, while Brayden Iose rounds out the starting loose forwards at No 8.

Winger Salesi Rayasi has been handed a rare start on the left wing in what will be his 50th appearance for the club. Josh Moorby and Ruben Love round out the back three.

Impressive halfback Jordi Viljoen returns in the 21 jersey for a bench spot, alongside midfielder Riley Higgins and outside back Bailyn Sullivan.


They will wear a vintage strip honouring the 1997 Hurricanes side as they look to edge the Blues for the competition’s number one seed.

The Hurricanes hold a strong record over the Highlanders in recent times winning nine of the last 10 fixtures, however the Highlanders recently broke their losing streak against New Zealand sides and will be looking for another victory.

The Hurricanes team take on the Highlanders:

1. Xavier Numia
2. Asafo Aumua
3. Pasilio Tosi
4. James Tucker
5. Isaia Walker-Leawere
6. Devan Flanders
7. Du’Plessis Kirifi
8. Brayden Iose
9. TJ Perenara
10. Brett Cameron
11. Salesi Rayasi (50th Hurricanes game)
12. Jordie Barrett (C)
13. Billy Proctor
14. Josh Moorby
15. Ruben Love


16. James O’Reilly
17. Pouri Rakete-Stones
18. Tevita Mafileo (50th Super Rugby game)
19. Justin Sangster
20. Peter Lakai
21. Jordi Viljoen
22. Riley Higgins
23. Bailyn Sullivan


Unavailable: Cam Roigard, Tyrel Lomax, Caleb Delany, Brad Shields






Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV


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