The Hurricanes have named their side to take on the Western Force in Perth this weekend, in what will be their final regular season fixture of the 2022 DHL Super Rugby Pacific competition.
With momentum high following the team’s 5th victory in their last 6 matches, Head Coach Jason Holland has named his side to face the Force.
The front row sees a change on both sides of the scrum as Pouri Rakete-Stones gets his opportunity to start at loosehead prop. Dane Coles starts at hooker following two matches off the bench against the Drua and Waratahs and will be joined by fellow 2015 Rugby World Cup winner Owen Franks, the first time the two have started a game together this season.
After a series of impressive showings from the bench, Caleb Delany will get his opportunity to start on the blindside. He will be joined in the backrow by injury returnee, Brayden Iose, who makes his long-awaited comeback from a broken wrist.
"We’re pleased to see Brayden return from injury at number 8 as he was playing great rugby before he broke his wrist. Ardie and Blake will be massive in the back half of the game for us,” said Holland.
TJ Perenara, who currently holds the Hurricanes record for the most tries against the Force, will once again captain the side from half-back and will be partnered at first-five by Aidan Morgan.
The electric Bailyn Sullivan returns to the number 13 jersey while Josh Moorby starts at fullback and will again look for support in the form of finishers Wes Goosen and Salesi Rayasi.
"In the backs, Sullivan, Goosen, Rayasi and Booth have all recovered from illness and will be desperate to take their opportunities on Saturday. We are confident they will do a good job,” said Holland.
“It’s been a crazy few weeks with flu going through our camp and we have some boys that couldn’t travel. We have built some excellent depth and have an exciting 23 for Saturday night in Perth.”
A win in Perth gives the Hurricanes the best possible chance of a home Quarter-Final next weekend.
The match, due to kick off at 12AM NZT on Sunday, 29 May at HBF Stadium, will mark the Hurricanes 100th match against Australian sides.
The match will be televised live on Sky Sport.
Hurricanes team to face the Western Force:
1. Pouri Rakete-Stones
2. Dane Coles
3. Owen Franks
4. James Blackwell
5. Justin Sangster
6. Caleb Delany
7. Du’Plessis Kirifi
8. Brayden Iose
9. TJ Perenara ©
10. Aidan Morgan
11. Salesi Rayasi
12. Billy Proctor
13. Bailyn Sullivan
14. Wes Goosen
15. Josh Moorby
16. Asafo Aumua
17. Xavier Numia
18. Tevita Mafileo
19. Blake Gibson
20. Ardie Savea
21. Jamie Booth
22. Jackson Garden-Bachop
23. Teihorangi Walden
Unavailable for selection: Devan Flanders, Reed Prinsep, Pepesana Patafilo, Dominic Bird, Ruben Love, Alex Fidow, Tyrel Lomax, Isaia Walker-Leawere, TK Howden, Tyler Laubscher, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Jordie Barrett