All Blacks return for ‘Canes

Date published: May 14 2015

Scrum-half TJ Perenara and wing Julian Savea return to the Hurricanes line-up for Saturday's derby against the Chiefs.

The pair missed last week's victory over the Sharks as part of an agreement to rest All Blacks, but are back in the fold as two of four changes made by coach Chris Boyd.

Perenara slots back at nine in place of Chris Smylie who drops to the bench, while Savea comes in on the wing in place of Matt Proctor who drops out of the matchday squad due to an ankle injury.

Reggie Goodes, who made a try-scoring appearance off the bench last week, returns at loosehead in place of Chris Eves who is named among the replacements.

In the only other change to the starting line-up, flanker Blade Thomson drops back down to the bench, with Brad Shields taking his place.

There were concerns over the fitness of full-back Nehe Milner-Skudder who suffered a knock to the head against the Sharks, but the 24-year-old past a concussion test and will start in the number 15 jersey.

Among the replacements, hooker Dane Coles has recovered from a calf injury, but will have to make do with a spot on the bench, with Boyd rewarding Motu Matu'u with another start.

Callum Gibbins and Mark Abbott have been bracketed on the bench, with Gibbins struggling to shake off a knock to his thigh.

Star fly-half Beauden Barrett remains sidelined by a knee injury suffered against the Crusaders a fortnight ago.

The Hurricanes, who currently top the overall Super Rugby standings, hold a ten-point lead over the Chiefs heading into Saturday's fixture.

Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 James Marshall, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Mark Abbott/Callum Gibbins, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Chris Smylie, Otere Black, 22 Rey Lee-Lo.

Date: Saturday, May 16
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19:35 local (17:35 AEST, 09:35 SAST, 07:35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Referees: Ben O'Keeffe, Aki Aso
TMO: Vinny Munro