‘Canes without Coles for season opener

Date published: February 24 2016

The Hurricanes will be without skipper Dane Coles for their opening Super Rugby clash after he suffered a calf strain on Wednesday.

The Wellington-based franchise named the hooker as captain in the team release on Tuesday, but were forced to reshuffle after Coles was injured on Wednesday's training.

"It looks like if training went ten minutes shorter we would have been alright, but it appears at this stage he might have strained his calf muscle, so we'll have to wait and see what the medical staff come up with," said Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd after the incident.

All Black scrum-half TJ Perenara will now lead out the Hurricanes against the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday.

Leni Apisai comes off the bench to replace Coles in the starting XV, while Ricky Riccitelli takes a spot on the bench.

It's a big blow for the All Black hooker, as he was eager to lead his troops.

"You see all the good captains and the biggest thing they do is they walk the talk and they're consistent in their games, so that's what I've set myself," the 29-year-old told Stuff before getting injured.

"There's a bit more talking to be done on the field, but if I can influence the boys just by the way I play and being consistent every week then I'll be happy."

Hurricanes (revised): 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Blade Thomson, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Leni Apisai, 1 Reggie Goodes
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Otere Black, 23 Willis Halaholo

Date: Friday, February 26
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19:40 local (8:40 GMT, 10:40 SA)
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Michael Hogan (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)