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Hurricanes' loose forward depth tested as Jordie Barrett named for 100th cap

By Ben Smith
Jordie Barrett looks on during a Hurricanes Super Rugby training session at McRae Park on January 26, 2024 in Napier, New Zealand. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes have made four changes to their side to face the Queensland Reds on Sunday afternoon in Melbourne in what will be Jordie Barrett’s 100th appearance for the club.

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Jordie Barrett will join brother Beauden in the Hurricanes centurion club and will become the 16th in franchise history alongside legends like Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, and Tana Umaga.

The All Blacks midfielder will continue his combination with centre Billy Proctor and he has been named to start at second five-eighth for the special game.

“It’s a huge achievement for Jordie and his family to join the 100 club alongside Beauden. He’s a proud Hurricane and we’re super proud of him and how he plays the game and how he’s taken to the leadership role with both hands. He’s got a great attitude, and it will be a special day,” head coach Clark Laidlaw said.

All Blacks halfback Cam Roigard will get his first start of the season, named at No 9 in place of last week’s debutant Jordi Viljoen. Roigard managed 31 minutes of action against the Force. Partnering Roigard in the halves is Brett Cameron who has been named to start at first five-eighth again.

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In the outside backs, blockbusting winger Kini Naholo has been named on the left wing, electric Ruben Love is at fullback and Josh Moorby has been named on the right wing. Riley Higgins and Salesi Rayasi have been named as cover on the bench.

Injuries have forced changes to the back row with Devan Flanders and Du’Plessis Kirifi ruled out. With captain Brad Shields still on the sidelines, the loose forwards depth is being tested early in the season.

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Braydon Iose has been named in the starting side at No 8, forcing Peter Lakai to openside while TK Howden at blindside forms the loose forward trio. Reserve flanker Veveni Lasaqa has been named on the bench for a potential debut.

“You never want to start your season losing two or three players in the same position. But we’re excited and comfortable giving some of the guys an opportunity as we have some depth in the loose forwards area, so we’re excited to see them go out and play,” Laidlaw said.

Up front All Black tighthead Tyrel Lomax returns to form a powerful starting front row with Xavier Numia and Asafo Aumua. Pasilio Tosi returns to the bench with James O’Reilly and Pouri Rakete-Stones.

In the second row Caleb Delany partners Isaia Walker-Leaware again while Justin Sangster deputises on the bench.

Hurricanes team to play the Queensland Reds

1. Xavier Numia
2. Asafo Aumua (cc)
3. Tyrel Lomax
4. Caleb Delany
5. Isaia Walker-Leawere
6. TK Howden
7. Peter Lakai
8. Brayden Iose
9. Cam Roigard
10. Brett Cameron
11. Kini Naholo
12. Jordie Barrett (cc) (100th game)
13. Billy Proctor
14. Josh Moorby
15. Ruben Love

Replacements

16. James O’Reilly
17. Pouri Rakete-Stones
18. Pasilio Tosi
19. Justin Sangster
20. Veveni Lasaqa (Debut)
21. Jordi Viljoen
22. Riley Higgins
23. Salesi Rayasi

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