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Fifita and Riccitelli to make 50th appearances against Crusaders

Wed 27th Mar

Hurricanes forwards Vaea Fifita and Ricky Riccitelli will make their 50th appearances for the club in Friday night's New Zealand derby showdown against the two-time defending Super Rugby champion Crusaders.

The pair have been named to start the match at Westpac Stadium in a largely unchanged side from the one which defeated the Stormers last round.

Senior players TJ Perenara and Ngani Laumape return to the Hurricanes starting XV after they missed the Stormers match.

They are the only changes Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree has made although there is one positional shift which sees Jordie Barrett move from the midfield to the right wing in place of Wes Goosen.

Goosen, who really impressed scoring two tries against the Stormers, has been named on the bench.

Riccitelli, who made his debut for the Hurricanes against the Brumbies in 2016, will start after Dane Coles was ruled out with a minor calf injury.

Fifita, who made his debut against the Blues in 2015, has again be named at blindside flanker.

The return of Perenara has seen Richard Judd move on to a reserves bench which features the recall of experienced prop Chris Eves and exciting young loose forward Du'Plessis Kirifi.

Plumtree was really pleased with the character shown against the Stormers.

"The leaders involved in that match really stood up, for the whole week really, and we will need that again in what is a great challenge for us against the Crusaders," he said.

"We expect TJ and Ngani to add a lot to that leadership group and they will also bring a lot of energy. It's a match we are really looking forward to along with our fans who we hope can give us a real advantage."

Kick-off at Westpac Stadium is 7.35pm .

The Hurricanes squad to face the Crusaders is: 

15 Chase Tiatia
14 Jordie Barrett
13 Matt Proctor
12 Ngani Laumape
11 Ben Lam
10 Beauden Barrett 
9 TJ Perenara (c)
8 Reed Prinsep
7 Ardie Savea
6 Vaea Fifita
5 Liam Mitchell
4 James Blackwell
3 Ben May
2 Ricky Riccitelli
1 Fraser Armstrong


16 Asafo Aumua
17 Chris Eves
18 Jeff To'omaga-Allen
19 Isaia Walker-Leawere
20 Du'Plessis Kirifi
21 Richard Judd
22 Jackson Garden-Bachop
23 Wes Goosen

Be the Hurricanes home advantage when the Crusaders come to town on Friday March 29. 7.35pm kick off. The Hurricanes will be chasing their sixth consecutive home win over the Crusaders!

Adults from $28.50. 1 Adult + 1 Child in the Bluebridge Family Zone just $30.

Click HERE to secure your tickets!

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