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Brad Shields returns for Rebels clash in Palmerston North

The Hurricanes are heading to Turbo country for their Round Five DHL Super Rugby Pacific (SRP) match against the Melbourne Rebels this Friday at CET Arena in Palmerston North.

The Hurricanes will be looking to make it five straight wins on Friday night and have been bolstered by the return of regular Captain Brad Shields and All Black midfielder Jordie Barrett.

Shields and Barrett join several new names to the matchday 23 with Head Coach Clark Laidlaw opting to stretch the depth in his squad after some players pulled up with “niggles” after the first few rounds of SRP.

Ngane Punivai is set to make his Hurricanes debut at centre, while halfback Richard Judd, first-five Aidan Morgan and outside backs Daniel Sinkinson and Harry Godfrey will also make their first SRP appearances for 2024.

“We’ve had to make some changes because some of the boys have got some niggles. We also want to let the boys who haven’t had a game this year find their feet. They’ve been training well, and they deserve an opportunity to play. It also shows the quality we have in our depth to be able to call on these players and we’re really happy with that,” Laidlaw said.

“It’s also really good to have Brad back. We’ve certainly been in and out with some of our loose forwards with injuries, but he’s itching to get started after training fully now for a couple of weeks. He not only provides a strong running and defensive game but exceptional leadership as well.”

Laidlaw said the team were excited about playing in front of a Palmerston North home crowd this Friday, which will also mark the first game of SRP Kid’s Round.

“We love playing up in Palmy,” Laidlaw said.

“We have a long history of playing there and we have a contingent of Manawatū boys in our squad, so we’re looking forward to heading up there on Thursday and getting amongst the community with our open training session and school visits and then playing on Friday.”

The Hurricanes match is part of a double-header with the Hurricanes Poua playing the earlier match against Chiefs Manawa. Kick-off: 4.35pm.  

The first 1,000 child tickets will go free! Fans will also get the chance to meet the Hurricanes players on the field after the game, so don’t miss out and purchase your tickets here.

Hurricanes SRP Round Five team to play Melbourne Rebels at Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North. Kick-off: 7.05pm.

1.Pouri Rakete-Stones

2. James O’Reilly

3. Tyrel Lomax

4. Justin Sangster

5. Caleb Delany

6. Brad Shields (Captain)

7. Du’Plessis Kirifi

8. Devan Flanders

9. TJ Perenara

10. Aidan Morgan

11. Salesi Rayasi

12. Jordie Barrett

13. Ngane Punivai (Debut)

14. Daniel Sinkinson

15. Harry Godfrey


16. Asafo Aumua

17. Tevita Mafileo

18. Pasilio Tosi

19. James Tucker

20. Brayden Iose

21. Richard Judd

22. Riley Higgins

23. Josh Moorby


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