Hurricanes unchanged for final

Date published: July 2 2015

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Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has named an unchanged starting XV for Saturday's Super Rugby Final against the Highlanders in Wellington.

Boyd's only change to his matchday squad comes at reserve hooker where Motu Matu’u returns from a knee injury which means Brayden Mitchell drops out of the squad.

Ardie Savea’s knee will continue to be monitored throughout the remainder of the week, with Callum Gibbins bracketed as cover should Savea not be deemed fit.

If Savea does not play and Gibbins comes in to the run-on side then Mark Abbott will be added to the replacements bench.

The final will quietly take on an extra meaning for a few of the men in black and yellow.

For long-serving Hurricanes Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu and Jeremy Thrush, and fellow teammates Chris Smylie, Rey Lee-Lo and Ben Franks, it will be the last time they run onto Westpac Stadium as Hurricanes.

With 468 caps between them, the six players will leave a sizeable hole at the 'Canes when they depart at the end of the season, but not before they do their best to help lift a Super Rugby trophy for their club.

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea/Callum Gibbins, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Callum Gibbins/Mark Abbott, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Rey Lee-Lo, 23 Matt Proctor.

Date: Saturday 4 July
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT, 09:35 SAST, 17:35 AEST)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Craig Joubert (South Africa)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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