The Hurricanes have made three enforced changes to their starting XV for Friday's Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders.
The Hurricanes have made three enforced changes to their starting XV for Friday's Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin.
Injuries to full-back James Marshall (toe) and number eight Blade Thomson (neck) have forced coach Mark Hammett to shuffle the team that broke an eight-match losing streak style by thrashing the Cheetahs last week.
Marty Banks returns at full-back while Andre Taylor has a chance of making his first appearance of the Super Rugby season off the bench as specialist full-back cover.
A reshuffle to the loose forwards sees Faifili Levave shift to number eight as Jack Lam returns to the back-row.
It's not yet clear if Thomson could still play and he has been bracketed with Adam Hill.
Coach Mark Hammett says Thomson will be monitored throughout the week.
In the second-row Jeremy Thrush is unavailable due to a personal commitment so James Broadhurst starts.
Hawke's Bay's Ash Dixon replaces hooker Motu Matu'u on the bench.
“We're fortunate in that we've got three very, very good hookers – it's probably one of the most competitive spots in the team,” said Hammett.
“This week, we've decided to give Ash an opportunity, while we can also give Motu some decent game time for the development team.”
Cory Jane suffered an ankle injury at training on Tuesday, ruling him out of contention.
Hurricanes: 15 Marty Banks, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Faifili Levave, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jack Lam, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Mark Reddish, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Chris Eves, 18 John Schwalger, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Blade Thomson/Adam Hill, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Matt Proctor, 23 Andre Taylor.
Date: Friday, March 21
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 local (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)