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New midfield combination to face the Crusaders

Wed 23rd May

The Hurricanes will field a new midfield combination when they travel south to meet the defending Investec Super Rugby champion Crusaders on Friday night.

Recently named All Black Jordie Barrett will move from fullback to centre to partner Ngani Laumape after Matt Proctor has failed to recover from a sternum injury he suffered in the Hurricanes win over the Reds last round.

While he has yet to play a lot of first class rugby at centre, Barrett has trained in the position throughout the season and Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd feels he will have little trouble adapting to the role.

Barrett's move into the midfield sees Nehe Milner-Skudder switch from the wing to fullback, a position he was more than comfortable with.

That change sees the experienced Julian Savea move back to the right wing after he came off the bench against the Reds last week.

Boyd has made two changes to the pack with captain Brad Shields coming back into the starting XV while Michael Fatialofa has recovered from a knee complaint that kept him out of the side last week.

There are a further three changes on the bench where the halves pairing of Finlay Christie and Ihaia West are recalled while Jonah Lowe could make his debut for the Hurricanes after also being named in the reserves.

Boyd said the squad was excited about the opportunity to meet the Crusaders again this season with top spot on the table up for grabs for the winner.

Kick-off at AMI Stadium is 7.35pm.

The Hurricanes squad to face the Crusaders is:

15 Nehe Milner-Skudder
14 Julian Savea
13 Jordie Barrett
12 Ngani Laumape
11 Ben Lam
10 Beauden Barrett
9 TJ Perenara 
8 Blade Thomson
7 Ardie Savea
6 Brad Shields (c)
5 Sam Lousi
4 Michael Fatialofa
3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen
2 Ricky Riccitelli
1 Toby Smith

Reserves

16 James O'Reilly
17 Chris Eves
18 Ben May
19 Murray Douglas
20 Reed Prinsep
21 Finlay Christie
22 Ihaia West
23 Jonah Lowe

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