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Tyrel Lomax set to play 100th Super Rugby Pacific match

The Hurricanes are looking to make it six from six down south when they square off against the Highlanders this Saturday evening at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

Hurricanes Head Coach Clark Laidlaw has made several changes to his matchday 23 from the previous match against the Rebels, with players who were rested and had slight niggles last week set to return.

Xavier Numia, Asafo Aumua, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Peter Lakai and Brayden Iose all return to the starting forward pack; while (besides Jordie Barrett) a revamped backline will take the field, with Cam Roigard, Brett Cameron, Kini Naholo, Billy Proctor, Josh Moorby and Ruben Love all named to start.

Laidlaw admitted the selection process for the upcoming match was “difficult” for the coaching team with many players in form putting their hand up for a spot in the matchday 23.

“Picking the side for this match was very hard for us,” said Laidlaw.

“The coaches spent a couple of days trying to settle on a (matchday) 23 trying to fit in players who put on really good performances against the Rebels and probably deserve to be in this week. But we obviously rested some of the boys last week who had played a lot of minutes and had been playing well, so the opportunity for them to come back in was there. There were also a couple of other boys who had niggles that have come right now. So, it’s been a bit of a selection headache, but long may it continue.”

Laidlaw said the team knows very well how dangerous the Highlanders can be after copping a defeat in their pre-season showing against them.

“They’re a tough prospect at home, and they’re physical,” Laidlaw said of the Highlanders.

“They showed against the Chiefs they only need a half chance, and they can get back in the game. We felt that in pre-season. They gave us a comprehensive touching up so we’re under no illusions around what to expect going down there. We need to be on the money this week in our preparation for what we know will be one hell of a tussle.”

The game against the Highlanders will also mark All Black Tyrel Lomax’s 100th DHL Super Rugby Pacific match. Lomax made 13 appearances for the Rebels in 2017, 31 for the Highlanders between 2018-19, and is set to play his 56th match for the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Laidlaw said: “We’re super proud of him. For Tyrel to play 100 games at prop, and he’s still a young man in prop terms, is unreal. He’s really found his form over the last three weeks, and it will be a special day for him and his family.”

Hurricanes SRP Round Six team to play the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. Kick-off: 7.05pm.

  1. Xavier Numia
  2. Asafo Aumua
  3. Tyrel Lomax (100th SRP game)
  4. Caleb Delany
  5. Isaia Walker-Leawere
  6. Brad Shields (Captain)
  7. Peter Lakai
  8. Brayden Iose
  9. Cam Roigard
  10. Brett Cameron
  11. Kini Naholo
  12. Jordie Barrett
  13. Billy Proctor
  14. Josh Moorby
  15. Ruben Love

REPLACEMENTS:

16. James O’Reilly

17. Pouri Rakete-Stones

18. Pasilio Tosi

19. Justin Sangster

20. Du’Plessis Kirifi

21. TJ Perenara

22. Peter Umaga-Jensen

23. Ngane Punivai

 

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