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Hurricanes make eight changes to their starting side to play the Highlanders

By Sam Smith
Jason Holland and Ardie Savea. (Photo by Derek Morrison/Photosport)

After their 53-12 win against Moana Pasifika on Tuesday, the Hurricanes are preparing to head to Dunedin this Easter weekend to take on the Highlanders in Round 9 of the DHL Super Rugby Pacific competition.

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Due the short turnaround between games, Head Coach Jason Holland has named a new look run-on side for the Hurricanes, with only 7 players backing up since Tuesday’s clash.

In the front row, Pouri Rakete-Stones and hooker Asafo Aumua return to the action for the first time since taking on the Crusaders, with only Tevita Mafileo retaining his starting spot. On the bench, Xavier Numia and recent debutants Kianu Kereru-Symes and Pasilio Tosi will look to provide cover.

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Lock Isaia Walker-Leawere retains his starting spot and partners James Blackwell, while Bay of Plenty lock Justin Sangster looks to add impact off the bench.

Reed Prinsep will take his regular blindside position, while Blake Gibson lines up at openside alongside Captain Ardie Savea at eight. Utility Caleb Delany will come off the bench.

Jackson Garden-Bachop replaces Aidan Morgan in the number 10 jersey and partners TJ Perenara who dotted down his 58th Super Rugby try on Tuesday, bringing the Hurricanes to 10,000 super rugby points, becoming only the second franchise to reach this milestone. Jamie Booth will look to provide cover.

Winger Salesi Rayasi retains his starting spot on the left with Julian Savea returns to the right after sitting out Tuesday’s game.

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In the midfield, Jordie Barrett returns to second-five, with Bailyn Sullivan at centre. Peter Umaga-Jensen will provide a quality option off the bench.

After an impressive performance off the bench on Tuesday, Josh Moorby steps up to start at full-back.

The Hurricanes take on the Highlanders this Saturday, 16 April, 7:05PM at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin. The match will be televised live on Sky Sport.

Hurricanes team to take on the Highlanders:

1. Pouri Rakete-Stones
2. Asafo Aumua
3. Tevita Mafileo
4. James Blackwell
5. Isaia Walker-Leawere
6. Reed Prinsep
7. Blake Gibson
8. Ardie Savea (c)
9. TJ Perenara
10. Jackson Garden-Bachop
11. Salesi Rayasi
12. Jordie Barrett
13. Bailyn Sullivan
14. Julian Savea
15. Josh Moorby

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REPLACEMENTS:
16. Kianu Kereru-Symes
17. Xavier Numia
18. Pasilio Tosi
19. Justin Sangster
20. Caleb Delany
21. Jamie Booth
22. Aidan Morgan
23. Peter Umaga-Jensen

Unavailable for selection due to injury or personal circumstances: Tyrel Lomax, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Devan Flanders.

 

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Turlough 1 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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