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Hurricanes name three debutants in the side to take on the Crusaders

By Online Editors
(Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

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The Hurricanes are set to take on the Crusaders this Saturday for the opening weekend of the 2022 DHL Super Rugby Pacific season.

Head Coach Jason Holland has named his side for Saturday’s clash against the Crusaders, with three Hurricanes debutants included in the matchday 23.

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In the front row, Asafo Aumua starts at hooker and is flanked by Hawkes Bay loosehead Pouri Rakete-Stones and All Black Tyrel Lomax.

Debutant Justin Sangster becomes Hurricane #282, lining up alongside experienced lock James Blackwell. Just four months ago, the 23-year-old was working in supply chain management for Mainfreight and now he is set for his first taste of Super Rugby action.

“Up front in the locks, Sangster has had a really impressive preseason. He’s been really physical, so I’m looking forward to seeing his debut,” said Holland.

In the back row, Devan Flanders starts in the number six jersey, with Du’Plessis Kirifi at seven and Captain Ardie Savea at No. 8.

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The Palmerston North Boys’ High School combination of Jamie Booth and Ruben Love are set to direct traffic at nine and 10. Booth, making his first appearance for the Hurricanes since August 2020, will be raring to go after an extended stint on the sidelines.

Peter Umaga-Jensen and Billy Proctor line up in the midfield, with Wes Goosen, Julian Savea and Jordie Barrett rounding out the Hurricanes 15.

On the bench, Hawke’s Bay hooker Jacob Devery will have the opportunity to make his Super Rugby debut, and Xavier Numia and Ben May round out the front row reserves.

This will be May’s 100th appearance for the Hurricanes, marking 11 consecutive seasons in the Hurricanes jersey for the 39-year-old prop since his debut against the Stormers in Cape Town on 25 February 2012.

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“The other notable selection in the forwards is Ben May. He’s really earned his 100th game this weekend, and I don’t mean the 99 before. I mean, he’s really worked hard over preseason to cement that spot,” said Holland.

Reed Prinsep and Manawatu’s Brayden Iose will cover the locks and loosies.

Halfback Richard Judd returns to the side having spent the last two seasons in Japan’s Rugby League One. Jackson Garden-Bachop and Bailyn Sullivan provide cover for the backs on the bench, with Sullivan set to debut.

On former Chief, Bailyn Sullivan, Holland said: “It’s always tough coming into a new environment, but he [Bailyn] has embraced it, and earned the boys respect pretty quickly. He’s been training and playing well. He adds another dimension to our attack.”

Hurricanes team to face the Crusaders: 

1. Pouri Rakete-Stones
2. Asafo Aumua
3. Tyrel Lomax
4. James Blackwell
5. Justin Sangster*
6. Devan Flanders
7. Du’Plessis Kirifi
8. Ardie Savea (c)
9. Jamie Booth
10. Ruben Love
11. Wes Goosen
12. Peter Umaga-Jensen
13. Billy Proctor
14. Julian Savea
15. Jordie Barrett

Reserves

16. Jacob Devery*
17. Xavier Numia
18. Ben May (100th appearance for the Hurricanes)
19. Reed Prinsep
20. Brayden Iose
21. Richard Judd
22. Jackson Garden-Bachop
23. Bailyn Sullivan*

* Denotes Hurricanes debut

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