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Hurricanes revamp pack

17th April 2013 08:05

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Jack Lam Hurricanes 2013

Back in business: Jack Lam

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has made five changes to his side to take on the Western Force in Wellington on Friday.

Jack Lam will make his first start at openside flanker, following an ACL reconstruction last year. Lam is one of four changes introduced to the forward pack for this match following last week's defeat to the Blues.

The other three changes includes Dane Coles, who will return to the starting hooker position this week. Jeremy Thrush is back in the pack after recovering from his lower ankle sprain and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen comes in at tighthead.

The return of Thrush to the Hurricanes line-up has allowed Hammett to rest Jason Eaton after starting all seven matches this season. TJ Perenara also gets a bit of a break with Chris Smylie given the nod to start at scrum-half.

Smylie will play inside Tusi Pisi, who retains his place at fly-half with Beauden Barrett wearing the number fifteen jersey for the second week in a row.

With Lam's selection, young gun Ardie Savea gets a week off, with Karl Lowe on the bench.

"When we selected Ardie for his first game we wanted to give him a couple of weeks of game time and then a rest," said Hammett.

"He is still only 19 and we want to make sure he enjoys a full season of Super Rugby rather than wearing him down early in the year.

"We are lucky we have a lot of experience in our loose forwards to be able to support his development as a Super Rugby player."

One player still out is number eight Victor Vito, whose injured calf will keep him out for a third-straight week.

Hurricanes: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Faifili Levave, 7 Brad Shields, 6 Jack Lam, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Karl Lowe, 20 TJ Perenara, 21 Reynold Lee-Lo, 22 Andre Taylor.

Date: Friday, 19 April
Venue: Westpac Stadium.
Kick-off: 19:35 (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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