Thrush out for Hurricanes

Date published: February 11 2015

Jeremy Thrush will miss the Hurricanes season opener against the Lions but Conrad Smith leads a very strong team in Johannesburg.

The All Black second row, in his final season for the Wellington franchise, is suffering from a calf injury and is expected to be out of action for four to six weeks.

Geoff Cridge will join the tour party to cover for his absence, with Mark Abbott coming into the starting lineup against the Lions.

Elsewhere it's a team packed with All Black experience named by Chris Boyd, led by Smith, who will start alongside Rey Lee-Lo in midfield.

Cory Jane and Julian Savea will provide the firepower on the wings, while Jason Woodward, after his move from the Rebels, gets the nod at full-back.

All Black pair TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett complete a star-studded backline, while up front the Canes will be able to call on Dane Coles and Ben Franks in the front row.

Ardie Savea starts at openside, but Victor Vito is only on the bench.

Hurricanes: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (capt), 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 Chris Eves, 19 Callum Gibbins, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 James Marshall, 23 Matt Proctor

Date: Friday, February 13
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Venue: Emirates Airline Park
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
AR1: Andrew Lees
AR2: Pro Legoete
TMO: Johan Greeff