Thrush to lead much-changed ‘Canes

Date published: May 21 2015

Jeremy Thrush will captain a Hurricanes team that features an all-new front row for Saturday's clash with the Blues in Auckland.

Regular skipper Conrad Smith is rested for the encounter in one of five changes, four of which are in the pack.

Reggie Goodes misses the match due to a one-week suspension handed out for a no-arms charge on Michael Allardice in last week's fixture with the Chiefs, and his spot at loosehead prop is taken by Chris Eves.

Tighthead prop Ben Franks sits out due to an Achilles problem and he is replaced by Jeffery Toomaga-Allen. The final change in the front row sees All Black Dane Coles get a run at hooker ahead of Motu Matu'u, who drops to the bench.

Elsewhere in the pack, Blade Thomson comes in at flank in place of Brad Shields, who is named among the replacements.

The only alteration to the backline sees Rey Lee-Lo partner Ma'a Nonu in the absence of Smith.

There are three further changes on the bench, with props Ben May and Tolu Fahamokioa, and centre Willis Halaholo coming into the matchday squad.

Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 James Marshall, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush (c ), 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Ben May, 18 Tolu Fahamokioa, 19 Mark Abbott/Callum Gibbins, 20 Brad Shields, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Otere Black, 23 Willis Halaholo.

Date: Saturday, May 23
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:35 local (17:35 AEST, 09:35 SAST, 07:35 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Referees: Ben O'Keeffe, Aki Aso
TMO: Aaron Paterson