Hurricanes facing hooker crisis

02nd Jul 2014, 07:02

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Injury concern: Dane Coles

Injury concern: Dane Coles

The Hurricanes have been forced into at least two changes to their side to face the Chiefs in Friday's crunch clash in Hamilton.

The Hurricanes have been forced into at least two changes to their starting side to face the Chiefs in Friday's crunch Super Rugby clash in Hamilton.

With the 'Canes on a bye next week, this will be the Wellington-based side's final regular season and they must win to ensure a place in the knock-out stages.

Injuries to Alapati Leiua and Victor Vito in last Saturday's home win over the Crusaders means Hadleigh Parkes starts at inside centre, while Brad Shields moves to the back of the scrum.

Who occupies the number two jersey remains to be seen, with team management continuing to monitor the injuries of Dane Coles, Ash Dixon, and Motu Matu'u throughout the remainder of the week.

Lock Jeremy Thrush will continue to captain the side in the absence of Conrad Smith (broken thumb).

The Hurricanes and the Chiefs have met 23 times in Super Rugby history, with the Hurricanes winning 12 of those matches, the Chiefs 10, and one ending in a draw.

Hurricanes: 15 Matt Proctor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jack Lam, 5 Blade Thomson, 4 Jeremy Thrush (c), 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 TBC, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 TBC, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Reggie Goodes, 19 James Broadhurst, 20 Adam Hill, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Cardiff Vaega, 23 James Marshall.

Date: Friday, July 4
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 local (17.35 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)