Laumape set for last dance at the Cake Tin as the Hurricanes prepare to take on the Reds
Fifteen-test All Black Ngani Laumape will look to make a serious impact from second five-eighth as he runs out in front of home support at Sky Stadium for the final time this Friday against the Reds.
Laumape, who made his debut for the Hurricanes in 2016 and featured eleven times in that title-winning season, will start at 12 in the Hurricanes’ final Super Rugby Trans-Tasman round robin match against the Australian champions.
The All Blacks midfielder will cap off six successful years in Wellington with the Canes, a period in which he made 83 appearance for the club (including three Super Rugby semi-final starts) and scored an impressive 47 tries, fifteen of which came in his outrageous top scoring season in 2017.
Hooker Asafo Aumua has recovered from a head knock and will start in the middle of the front row – his second start of the competition, while Reed Prinsep returns to the starting fifteen at flanker after missing the trip across the Tasman.
The bench itself features a number of changes with veteran hooker Dane Coles set to provide impact as a finisher having played a prominent starting role against the Brumbies last week. Peter Umaga-Jensen also returns, with Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland opting for a five-forward, three back make-up this week.
“While we were bitterly disappointed to lose in Canberra the boys have picked themselves up and are really determined to put on a good performance for a number of reasons,” said Holland.
“The first of those is to reward our loyal fans with a performance they can be proud of while we really want to send those players leaving off in a positive fashion.”
Holland said while the loss to the Brumbies would more than likely cost them a chance to play in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final, they had to go out and play positively.
“Results don’t always go to the script and we have seen the Australian sides becoming a lot more competitive as this competition has gone on. We’ve felt that first hand and we know the Reds are going to provide a massive challenge.”
The Hurricanes squad to face the Reds is:
1 Xavier Numia
2 Asafo Aumua
3 Tyrel Lomax
4 James Blackwell
5 Scott Scrafton
6 Reed Prinsep
7 Du’Plessis Kirifi
8 Ardie Savea ©
9 Cam Roigard
10 Ruben Love
11 Wes Goosen
12 Ngani Laumape
13 Billy Proctor
14 Julian Savea
15 Jordie Barrett
16. Dane Coles
17. Pouri Rakete-Stones
18. Alex Fidow
19. Liam Mitchell
20. Devan Flanders
21. Luke Campbell
22. Peter Umaga-Jensen
23. Salesi Rayasi
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