‘Canes change four for Highlanders

Date published: May 25 2016

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has made four changes to his side that will face the Highlanders in Wellington on Friday. 

Captain Dane Coles and lock Michael Fatialofa both successfully completed concussion protocols this week and return to the starting line-up.

The five players who were stood down for the Hurricanes last match against the Reds for missing a team curfew in South Africa return to the fold with loose forwards Victor Vito and Ardie Savea, as well as wings Julian Savea and Cory Jane back in the starting XV, and prop Chris Eves among the replacements.

"This was a very tough team to select," Boyd told reporters.

"We've got a lot of guys who are fit and in form at the moment, which is great, but makes things tough for the coaches when it comes to naming the team."

Vito's return at number eight sees Blade Thomson return to the second-row meaning Vaea Fifita returns to an impact role from the reserves, while back-rower Savea pushes Callum Gibbins to the bench.

Wingers Savea and Jane take the place of Wes Goosen and Jason Woodward respectively, the latter taking his place amongst the replacements, which also feature the return of scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park in place of Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.

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 Blade Thomson, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Reggie Goodes
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Callum Gibbins, Jamison 21 Gibson-Park, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Jason Woodward

Date: Friday, May 27
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Referees: Brendon Pickerill, Jamie Nutbrown
TMO: Aaron Peterson