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Hurricanes name 6-2 bench split to play the Blues at Eden Park

By Ben Smith
Hurricanes players celebrate the try during the round eight Super Rugby Pacific match between Hurricanes and Chiefs at Sky Stadium, on April 13, 2024, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes have named a 6-2 bench split for their team to play the Blues as the two best sides in Super Rugby Pacific prepare to square off at Eden Park on Saturday.

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The visitors are looking for back-to-back wins over the Blues for the first time since 2019 after they secured a 29-19 win in Wellington off the back of three try assists to fullback Ruben Love in round three.

But the Blues are in form and haven’t been beaten at Eden Park in their last 10 outings at the ground. The Crusaders are the only side to beat the Blues at Eden Park in their last 31 fixtures.

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Fixture
Super Rugby Pacific
Blues
31 - 27
Full-time
Hurricanes
All Stats and Data

Head coach Clark Laidlaw has named his strongest side possible for the crunch match between the 9-1 teams, loading the bench with six forwards for the occasion.

“We’ve managed to strike a really good balance with our squad, we have a level of depth, which we’re really happy with and the competitiveness across the squad,” he said.

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“This is an exciting opportunity for us to be able to take on a top side at their home and put our best foot forward. The team showed a level of maturity last week to bounce back and put out a strong performance for our fans.

“We haven’t won in Auckland since 2019 – so we know that there is a massive challenge ahead of the side.”

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The fixture will see two of the most prolific scoring teams in the competition go head-to-head. The Hurricanes are ranked first in tries scored per game with 5.3 trailed by the Blues in second with 5.2 per game. Both sides rank in the top three for most attacking stats.

Team Form

Last 5 Games

4
Wins
3
1
Streak
2
27
Tries Scored
20
70
Points Difference
28
4/5
First Try
3/5
4/5
First Points
3/5
4/5
Race To 10 Points
3/5

Hurricanes team to play the Blues:

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

Reserves

16. Raymond Tuputupu
17. Pouri Rakete-Stones
18. Pasilio Tosi
19. Justin Sangster
20. Devan Flanders
21. Du’Plessis Kirifi
22. Richard Judd
23. Bailyn Sullivan

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