Hurricanes swap back-rowers

Date published: March 6 2013

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has made one change to his starting line-up for Friday's clash with the Crusaders in Wellington.

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has made just one change to his starting line-up for Friday's clash with the Crusaders in Wellington.

Back-rowers Victor Vito and Brad Shield swap positions, with Vito moving to the back of the scrum and Shields starting in the number six jersey.

On the bench, Ben May comes in to the number 17 jersey and Motu Matu'u has been bracketed with Ash Dixon.

The match is a special occasion for Vito and Dane Coles who will both don the Hurricanes jersey for their 50th appearance.

Both began their Super Rugby careers in 2009 and are now senior 'Canes players, with Vito a 20 Test cap All Black and Coles the most recent addition from the franchise to the black jersey.

Hammett congratulated the duo on their milestones.

“These guys are proud Hurricanes and should enjoy the occasion as reaching your 50th cap is no small feat,” he said.

“Both Colesy and Vic have worked extremely hard to get there and that's why they have also achieved higher honours with the All Blacks.

“They know there is a job at hand, and being the kind of guys they are, that will be their only focus on Friday night.”

Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
16 Motu Matu'u/Ash Dixon, 17 Ben May, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 James Marshall, 22 Reynold Lee-Lo.

Date: March 8
Kick-off: 19:35 (06:35 GMT)
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)