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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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Wonton 6 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

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N
Nick 7 hours ago
How 'gazelle' Nick Frost thawed the hearts of Wallaby fans at Suncorp

Its almost like you read my comment on the other site on sunday morning Nick - you flagged all the same examples! 😝 Frost was motm for mine. That eg in the 56th minute in particular impressed me, nothing but sheer effort and a dupont/smith-like tracking line behind the D. Surely an effort like that from frost marries perfectly with that quote from schmidt at the start of the year about effort and work rate being 70-80% and talent is just the icing on top… What it also showed though was the players not making that effort, in that example he goes past both valetini and ikitau, and in the eg that finished with valetini scoring hunter paisami barely breaks a canter to support the break. And then there was the chase from wright and lancaster for the 2nd georgian try! One blemish - at kickoff I saw frost miss or get bumped off a few tackles and I felt like I saw what has been holding his selection back. I think because he is so big and is trying to get low to tackle, he seems to dip his head and ends up losing his balance or ability to adjust and ends up missing or making a soft hit. I think in the first 2 minutes he misses or makes 2-3 soft tackles, but you could clearly see the work rate and desire! He (the pod) also missed a kick restart or two? Also very happy to see harry wilson back in the fold. What impressed me from him wasn’t all the usual stuff he is known for, but all the other bits that usually let him down. He looked surprisingly good in the air at lineout time, physical at the breakdown, and good in the maul peeling off 3 georgians for one of the maul tries. Id have frost, skelton, wright as my 4-6 with LSL and wilson on the bench. i’m once again unconvinced by tom wirght - he was very good game 1, but game 2-3 he was back to more rocks than diamonds. There is no real other player to usurp him really so he stays in the team for now but I think Joe should put kellaway wherever he serves the team best and wright can be moved around him. Did donno do enough to overtake noah? My gut says no. They clearly had a plan to attack more so he looked better in that regard because he just had more opportunity, but they looked better off tate (who had a v good game also) then they did off donno.

25 Go to comments
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