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Hurricanes welcome back Dane Coles

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Hurricanes welcome All Blacks star Dane Coles back into starting lineup for Chiefs derby

Dane Coles has been named in the Hurricanes’ starting line-up for the first time this year, as the team gets set to take on the Chiefs in Hamilton.

It means Friday’s game will also be the first time the co-captaincy between Coles and TJ Perenara will formally come into effect.

The Wellington-based Super Rugby squad is looking to bounce back, after a tough loss at home against the Blues last Saturday.

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With Tyrel Lomax suspended for three weeks, Ben May, comes into the fold as tighthead prop.

There are a few other changes up front with Fraser Armstrong replacing Xavier Numia, who’s recovering from a head knock. James Blackwell makes his way back into the starting XV whilst Devan Flanders is promoted to the number 6 jersey.

Meanwhile, Coles’ return will mean Asafo Aumua will start the game on the bench.

Head coach, Jason Holland, says there’s plenty of competition for the No. 2 jersey.

“Colesy wants to put his hand up and grab that role. We’ve got three awesome boys fighting for a chance to start, so they’re all aware they need to take the chance when its given and play well.”

There’s been no changes made to the backline this week, with Fletcher Smith, Ben Lam, Ngani Laumape, Vince Aso, Kobus Van Wyk and Jordie Barrett all included.

Holland says the team’s been focussing on its accuracy ahead of what will be another tough derby.

“We weren’t accurate enough to take opportunities and territory we were gaining in first 30-minutes against the Blues. We’re working hard at fixing that that this week, especially as this Chiefs side will be looking to capitalise on that.”

The Hurricanes haven’t played the Chiefs since their 47 – 19 win in Wellington last April.

Hurricanes team to play the Chiefs

15) Jordie Barrett
14) Kobus Van Wyk
13) Vince Aso
12) Ngani Laumape
11) Ben Lam
10) Fletcher Smith
9) TJ Perenara [CC]
8) Gareth Evans
7) Du’Plessis Kirifi
6) Devan Flanders
5) Isaia Walker-Leawere
4) James Blackwell
3) Ben May
2) Dane Coles [CC]
1)  Fraser Armstrong

Reserves
16) Asafo Aumua
17) Pouri Rakete-Stones
18) Alex Fidow
19) Scott Scrafton
20) Vaea Fifita
21) Jamie Booth
22) Billy Proctor
23) Wes Goosen

– Hurricanes Rugby

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Hurricanes welcome All Blacks star Dane Coles back into starting lineup for Chiefs derby
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