All Blacks start for Hurricanes

Date published: June 30 2016

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The Hurricanes' five All Blacks will start against the Blues with Chris Boyd making just one change to the team that beat the Highlanders.

Other than lock Vaea Fifita, head coach Boyd has named the same run-on XV that played against the Highlanders on May 27 with All Blacks Dane Coles, Beauden Barrett, Ardie Savea, Julian Savea and TJ Perenara all fit and ready to resume their Super Rugby duties.

Fifita comes into the starting team in place of Blade Thomson, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in training during Super Rugby's June break.

"We felt like we were building some good momentum when the competition stopped for the June internationals and clearly we'll be hoping to pick up where we left off, so continuity is important," Boyd said.

"Our All Blacks have all come back in really good nick and they've slipped right back into our environment which has been great.

"The challenge for everyone is getting back into competition mode after a month off, but we believe we've prepared well over the break. We had a good, tough hit out against Melbourne Rebels last week and we've trained well as a group. The guys can't wait to get back out on Westpac Stadium in front of their home crowd."

Boyd said the Blues presented a significant test.

"They are a quality side with attacking threats right across the park, so we know we will have to be at our best if we want to compete."

While Fifita is the only change to the starting side, Boyd has reshuffled a reserves bench that includes in-form USA Eagles openside Tony Lamborn.

Hooker Ricky Riccitelli comes in for Motu Matu'u, who is out after breaking his arm while playing for Samoa, Mark Abbott takes Fifita's place on the bench, and Willis Halaholo provides midfield cover in the absence of Ngani Laumape, who is out with a groin injury.

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Vince Aso, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Reggie Goodes
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Tony Lambourn, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 Jason Woodward

Date: Saturday, July 2
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

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