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TJ Perenara is back for Blues clash this Saturday

After a thrilling golden point win in Super Round last Sunday, the Hurricanes now turn their focus over to the Blues this Saturday evening at Sky Stadium.

Like the Blues, the Hurricanes have started their DHL Super Rugby Pacific campaign with two from two, with this match expected to be an exhilarating contest.

The match also sees the long-awaited return of 150 cap Hurricanes legend TJ Perenara, who has been named on the bench, replacing Jordi Viljoen. 

Perenara ruptured his achilles in an All Blacks test against England in 2022 and got his first minutes back on the field in a Hurricanes preseason match against Moana Pasifika.

Head Coach Clark Laidlaw said he applauded Perenara and his resilience to get back into full fitness after a lengthy stint on the sideline.

“TJ is extremely competitive and loves a challenge, so his tenacity and resilience is no surprise as he seeks to continue playing for the Team he loves. He turns up every day with an attitude to be better and that’s why he’s the player he is.”

In other changes to this week’s side will see lock James Tucker set to make his debut for the Hurricanes being named to start in the second row alongside Isaia Walker-Leawere. With regular midfielder Jordie Barrett unavailable for selection due to suspension, Riley Higgins is promoted to the starting no.12 position, while centre Billy Proctor has been given the honour of co-captaining the side alongside barnstorming Hooker Asafo Aumua.

The rest of the backline remains unchanged. 

The game will also mark front rower Xavier Numia's 50th game for the Hurricanes. The 25-year-old made his debut back in 2019 against the Waratahs and has gone from strength to strength over the years.

Laidlaw said he was “proud” of the team’s fight they displayed in the win against a formidable Queensland Reds team, and knows they’ll have to keep fighting this weekend against the Blues.

“I am very pleased with how we’ve gone over the past two weeks. Winning a couple of games away from home at the start of the season is always a bonus. But I thought the composure we showed as a full group in golden point, as well as being under immense pressure at times throughout the match was encouraging. It’s always good to win tough games like that.

“We’re looking forward to our first derby game at home this week in front of our fans and supporters. Kiwi derbies are always big games and we’re looking forward to playing at home.  We’re under no illusion how tough it’s going to be. But we’re excited and up for the challenge.” 

The game will be the Hurricanes first home game of the season and the team is itching to get out onto the field and put on a spectacle for their fans.

The Hurricanes are also celebrating Club Round this Saturday and we’re encouraging all supporters to represent their local club jerseys on game day!

There will be multiple giveaways on the night with 500 reversible bucket hats, as well as spin the wheel, all happening within the Bluebridge Family Zone!

If you don’t have tickets for the match, don’t miss out on our Bronze Adult tickets, going for only $20.24!

Click this link for tickets for Hurricanes 2024 DHL Super Rugby Pacific matches!

Kick-off for the match is at 7.05pm at Sky Stadium on Saturday, 9 March.

Hurricanes SRP Round Three team to play Blues

  1. Tevita Mafileo
  2. Asafo Aumua (cc)
  3. Tyrel Lomax
  4. James Tucker (Debut)
  5. Isaia Walker-Leawere
  6. TK Howden
  7. Peter Lakai
  8. Brayden Iose
  9. Cam Roigard
  10. Brett Cameron
  11. Kini Naholo
  12. Riley Higgins
  13. Billy Proctor (cc)
  14. Josh Moorby
  15. Ruben Love


16. James O’Reilly

17. Xavier Numia (50th Cap)

18. Pasilio Tosi

19. Caleb Delany

20. Devan Flanders

21. TJ Perenara

22. Peter Umaga-Jensen

23. Salesi Rayasi



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