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Hurricanes swap one All Black for another ahead of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman opener

By Alex McLeod

Trending on RugbyPass

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The Hurricanes have named a largely settled side to face the Waratahs in their Super Rugby Trans-Tasman opener in Sydney on Friday.

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Head coach Jason Holland has made just three changes to the side that defeated the Highlanders in Wellington two weeks ago, with the most notable change coming in the midfield.

Star second-five Ngani Laumape, who was recently confirmed to leave New Zealand for France after having signed a deal with Top 1 club Stade Francais, has been omitted from the side to play at the Sydney Cricket Ground this weekend.

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In his place comes one-test midfielder Peter Umaga-Jensen, who featured off the bench in his side’s 41-22 thumping of the Highlanders at Sky Stadium.

The promotion of Umaga-Jensen into the starting side is one of only three changes to Holland’s starting team, with the other two alterations coming in the forward pack.

Impressive lock Isaia Walker-Leawere comes into the second row in place of Scott Scrafton, who misses the match day squad altogether, while tighthead prop Alex Fidow comes off the bench and into the starting side in place of Tyrel Lomax.

Lomax, a six-test All Black, is one of five new faces in the reserves, joining fellow prop Tevita Mafileo, lock Liam Mitchell, injury-free halfback Jonathan Taumateine and first-five Orbyn Leger on the pine.

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Holland said confidence was brimming within the Hurricanes squad following their strong finish to the Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign.

“It does genuinely feel like a new competition to us and the fact that we get to front up against Australian opposition after more than a year has added to that,” he said.

“We have all wondered how we would shape up against them after that period of time not being able to play against some of our traditional rivals and now that opportunity is really close.

“We managed to have a bit of time off following that last game and the guys have come back together keen to get back into it.”

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Kick-off for the Hurricanes’ clash with the Waratahs in Sydney is scheduled for 7:45pm on Friday [local time].

Hurricanes team to play Waratahs

1. Xavier Numia
2. Dane Coles (c)
3. Alex Fidow
4. James Blackwell
5. Isaia Walker-Leawere
6. Reed Prinsep
7. Du’Plessis Kirifi
8. Devan Flanders
9. Luke Campbell
10. Ruben Love
11. Salesi Rayasi
12. Peter Umaga-Jensen
13. Billy Proctor
14. Julian Savea
15. Jordie Barrett

Reserves:

16. Asafo Aumua
17. Tevita Mafileo
18. Tyrel Lomax
19. Liam Mitchell
20. Braydon Iose
21. Jonathan Taumateine
22. Orbyn Leger
23. Pepesano Patafilo

Listen to the latest episode of the Aotearoa Rugby Pod below:

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Hurricanes swap one All Black for another ahead of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman opener

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