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Hurricanes name strongest team possible to play the Chiefs

By Ben Smith
Josh Moorby of the Hurricanes celebrates with Ruben Love and Billy Proctor after scoring a try during the round six Super Rugby Pacific match between Highlanders and Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr Stadium, on March 30, 2024, in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

After their bye week the Hurricanes have named their top side as they prepare to to play the Chiefs in Wellington on Saturday night.

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Clark Laidlaw’s side might be 6-0 but the Chiefs have had their number in recent years, holding a current five-game winning streak heading into the game.

The last win the Hurricanes had over the Chiefs was in 2020 during Super Rugby Aotearoa four years ago, a 31-18 victory.

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The most notable change comes expectedly at halfback. After losing Cam Roigard to a ruptured patella in a dominant victory against the Highlanders, the Hurricanes have elevated TJ Perenara into the starting side and named veteran Richard Judd on the bench.

Fixture
Super Rugby Pacific
Hurricanes
36 - 23
Full-time
Chiefs
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Brad Shields will captain the side with the pair of young loose forwards that have been tipped for higher honours, Peter Lakai at openside and explosive No 8 Braydon Iose.

On the bench the Hurricanes have made the decision to name two loose forwards, Du’Plessis Kirifi and Devan Flanders, in anticipation of a tough battle at the breakdown.

Head coach Clark Laidlaw highlighted Damian McKenzie as the key to shutting down the Chiefs in the “hardest game of the year”.

“It’s going to be a massive battle,” head coach Clark Laidlaw said.

“The Chiefs are last year’s finalists. They’re full of very good players and coaches. They’ve got threats right across the field when they get on the front foot.

“There’s the obvious threat around Damien Mackenzie and how well he’s been playing, so we’re expecting the hardest game of the year, so we’re preparing for it.

“But the team is feeling energised, refreshed, and ready for this. It was nice to have the time off to reflect on where we’re at, and now the team has come back in with real energy and a purpose to get back on the horse as quickly as possible.”

Hurricanes team to play Chiefs:

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1. Xavier Numia
2. Asafo Aumua
3. Tyrel Lomax
4. Caleb Delany
5. Isaia Walker-Leawere
6. Brad Shields (c)
7. Peter Lakai
8. Braydon Iose
9. TJ Perenara
10. Brett Cameron
11. Kini Naholo
12. Jordie Barrett
13. Billy Proctor
14. Joshua Moorby
15. Ruben Love

Reserves

16. James O’Reilly
17. Pouri Rakete-Stones
18. Pasilio Tosi
19. Justin Sangster
20. Du’Plessis Kirifi
21. Devan Flanders
22. Richard Judd
23. Peter Umaga-Jensen

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