TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett to notch up milestone game together
The match will be the 100th time the pair have combined at halfback and first five-eighth for the Hurricanes since their first match together in 2012.
The pair, who have both played 123 times for the Hurricanes, have forged a formidable partnership in that time as Barrett has gone on to become the club’s leading points scorer (1223) of all time while Perenara has scored 52 tries, the most by any halfback in Super Rugby history.
With Matt Proctor (pectoral muscle) and Wes Goosen (hamstring) having returned to New Zealand to have their injuries assessed, Jordie Barrett moves into centre while Chase Tiatia will start on the wing.
Gareth Evans, who made a pleasing return from a long-term calf injury off the bench against the Sharks, starts at No 8 while Ardie Savea moves to the reserves with Du’Plessis Kirifi named at openside flanker.
“Ardie has had a massive workload for us, even with his All Blacks rest weeks, so we think it’s really important that he gets an opportunity to freshen up a little and come off the bench for us,” Plumtree said.
The Hurricanes need two competition points to guarantee themselves a home quarterfinal with the Lions and Blues still to play.
“We know how desperate the Lions will be,” Plumtree added. “They are still in the mix to also host a play-off match and we know how tough they can be to beat at home.”
Hurricanes: James Marshall, Ben Lam, Jordie Barrett, Ngani Laumape, CHase Tiatia, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (c), Gareth Evans, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Isaia Walker-Leawere, James Blackwell, Jeff To’omaga Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Toby Smith. Reserves: Dane Coles, Fraser Armstrong, Ross Geldenhuys, Liam Mitchell, Ardie Savea, Richard Judd, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Salesi Rayasi.
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