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Ruben Love returns to 1st XV as Hurricanes make 7 changes for Brumbies

By Finn Morton
Ruben Love of the Hurricanes talks to a teammate during the round three Super Rugby Pacific match between Hurricanes and Blues at Sky Stadium, on March 09, 2024, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes have once again made a raft of changes to their starting side as they prepare to take on the Brumbies in a Saturday afternoon blockbuster in Canberra as part of ANZAC Round.


After getting the better of the always-tough Fijian Drua with a clinical performance in Suva last time out, the Hurricanes have switched their focus to the team’s 400th Super Rugby match.

Coach Clark Dermody has made seven changes to the run-on side. Xavier Numia, Tyrel Lomax, Caleb Delany, Brayden Iose, Brett Cameron and Ruben Love all return to the First XV.

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Peter Umaga-Jensen is also set for his first start of the season after being named at outside centre as a replacement for the Canes’ consistent No. 13 Billy Proctor.

The Hurricanes battled the heat in Suva last week as they overcame a tough Drua outfit in Suva. This time, they’ll need to brace for cold conditions against a hungry Brumbies side.

“I was pleased with our prep for this week, the way the players and management have been able to adapt as we prepare for a new challenge each week,” Laidlaw said in a statement.

The Brumbies are third on the Super Rugby Pacific standings but will be eager to make amends after falling 46-7 in a disastrous defeat to the Blues at Auckland’s Eden Park last weekend.


Preparing for this challenge, the Canes have gone with the front row trio of Xavier Numia, James O’Reilly and Tyrel Lomax. Caleb Delany and Isaia Walker-Leawere round out the tight five.

Captain Brad Shields partners Du’Plessis Kirifi and Brayden Iose in the loose forwards, while TJ Perenara and Brett Cameron will look to link the forwards and backs as the halves.


Last 5 Meetings

Average Points scored
First try wins
Home team wins

Jordie Barrett will combine with Peter Umaga-Jensen in the midfield, while Salesi Rayasi, Kini Naholo and Ruben Love have been selected as the three outside backs.

As part of this ANZAC Round clash between the capital cities, the Hurricanes will lay a wreath at the New Zealand Memorial in Canberra on Friday.


“It’s a real honour for us to be invited to lay a wreath there,” Laidlaw explained. “It’s important for us to recognise and remember those lives lost and to continue the legacy of service.”

The Hurricanes highly anticipated meeting with the ACT Brumbies at Canberra’ GIO Stadium will get underway at 4:35 pm NZT on Saturday.

Hurricanes team to take on Brumbies

  1. Xavier Numia
  2. James O’Reilly
  3. Tyrel Lomax
  4. Caleb Delany
  5. Isaia Walker-Leawere
  6. Brad Shields (c)
  7. Du’Plessis Kirifi
  8. Brayden Iose
  9. TJ Perenara
  10. Brett Cameron
  11. Salesi Rayasi
  12. Jordie Barrett
  13. Peter Umaga-Jensen
  14. Kini Naholo
  15. Ruben Love


  1. Raymond Tuputupu
  2. Tevita Mafileo
  3. Pasilio Tosi
  4. Ben Grant
  5. Peter Lakai
  6. Richard Judd
  7. Riley Higgins
  8. Bailyn Sullivan

Unavailable: Asafo Aumua, Jacob Devery, TK Howden, Cam Roigard, James Tucker


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Diarmid 9 hours ago
Players and referees must cut out worrying trend in rugby – Andy Goode

The guy had just beasted himself in a scrum and the blood hadn't yet returned to his head when he was pushed into a team mate. He took his weight off his left foot precisely at the moment he was shoved and dropped to the floor when seemingly trying to avoid stepping on Hyron Andrews’ foot. I don't think he was trying to milk a penalty, I think he was knackered but still switched on enough to avoid planting 120kgs on the dorsum of his second row’s foot. To effectively “police” such incidents with a (noble) view to eradicating play acting in rugby, yet more video would need to be reviewed in real time, which is not in the interest of the game as a sporting spectacle. I would far rather see Farrell penalised for interfering with the refereeing of the game. Perhaps he was right to be frustrated, he was much closer to the action than the only camera angle I've seen, however his vocal objection to Rodd’s falling over doesn't legitimately fall into the captain's role as the mouthpiece of his team - he should have kept his frustration to himself, that's one of the pillars of rugby union. I appreciate that he was within his rights to communicate with the referee as captain but he didn't do this, he moaned and attempted to sway the decision by directing his complaint to the player rather than the ref. Rugby needs to look closely at the message it wants to send to young players and amateur grassroots rugby. The best way to do this would be to apply the laws as they are written and edit them where the written laws no longer apply. If this means deleting laws such as ‘the put in to the scrum must be straight”, so be it. Likewise, if it is no longer necessary to respect the referee’s decision without questioning it or pre-emptively attempting to sway it (including by diving or by shouting and gesticulating) then this behaviour should be embraced (and commercialised). Otherwise any reference to respecting the referee should be deleted from the laws. You have to start somewhere to maintain the values of rugby and the best place to start would be giving a penalty and a warning against the offending player, followed by a yellow card the next time. People like Farrell would rapidly learn to keep quiet and let their skills do the talking.

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