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Hurricanes' injury concerns alleviated for Rebels quarter-final

By Ned Lester
TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes looks on during the round four Super Rugby Pacific match between Crusaders and Hurricanes at Apollo Projects Stadium, on March 15, 2024, in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

The injury concerns over Hurricanes stars TJ Perenara and Ruben Love have been put to rest as the Wellington club have named both players in the starting XV for their quarter-final against the Rebels.

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The pair have been named in a lethal backline which includes Salesi Rayasi on the left wing in the place of Kini Naholo. The former New Zealand sevens star has demanded the starting role through his strong recent form after starting the year on the bench.

Elsewhere, selection calls have been made to keep Devan Flanders as the starting blindside flanker, meaning Brad Shields will again make his impact on the game off the bench.

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Tyrel Lomax remains unavailable, leaving Pasilio Tosi to start alongside the powerful Xavier Numia and Asafo Aumua in the front row. Aumua showed no signs of rust upon his return from injury last week, something his head coach commended ahead of the quarter-final.

“Asafo was extremely diligent in his rehab and that allowed him to get back out on the park for 40 minutes which was pleasing for him and us,” Clark Laidlaw said.

“We’re under no illusion, the Melbourne Rebels have an exciting backline, and their x-factor is a real threat, with numerous ball carriers across the field, it’ll be an amazing match.”

Having secured the top seed in a dramatic final weekend of results, the team are ready to show out in front of their home fans.

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“The crowd was immense and has been building all season. How good is afternoon rugby – we’re keen to see a big crowd on Saturday to bring that extra energy.”

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Hurricanes team to face the Rebels

  1. Xavier Numia
  2. Asafo Aumua
  3. Pasilio Tosi

  1. Justin Sangster

  1. Isaia Walker-Leawere

  1. Devan Flanders

  1. Peter Lakai

  1. Brayden Iose

  1. TJ Perenara

  1. Brett Cameron

  1. Salesi Rayasi

  1. Jordie Barrett (C)

  1. Billy Proctor

  1. Josh Moorby

  1. Ruben Love

Reserves

  1. James O’Reilly

  1. Pouri Rakete-Stones

  1. Tevita Mafileo

  1. Brad Shields

  1. Du’Plessis Kirifi

  1. Richard Judd

  1. Bailyn Sullivan

  1. Kini Naholo

Unavailable: Cam Roigard, Caleb Delany, Tyrel Lomax, Ben Grant

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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