TJ Perenara to lead Hurricanes against Reds

Date published: May 16 2018

TJ Perenara will return to the Hurricanes’ starting XV and take over the captaincy when they take on the Reds in Wellington on Friday.

Despite having a month on the sidelines following a knee injury, the All Blacks scrum-half showed he was more than ready to start for the Hurricanes after coming off the bench with great effect in the side’s win over the Blues at Eden Park in the last round.

He will take over the captaincy from regular skipper Brad Shields who has been given an opportunity to come off the bench after starting an impressive 39 matches in a row for the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has named a strong line-up to face the Reds as the squad tries to win its 10th match in a row in front of what is expected to be a bumper crowd at Westpac Stadium.

While the pack has had a bit of a reshuffle, the players Boyd has named have all got a healthy amount of Super Rugby experience.

That includes number eight Blade Thomson who will get his first run-on this season while he will be accompanied in the loose forwards by Reed Prinsep and Ardie Savea.

The other change in the pack sees Michael Fatialofa return to the second-row in place of Vaea Fifita who suffered a head knock early against the Blues. Fifita has, however, recovered and will take his place on the bench.

There will also be a debut for promising midfield back Peter Umaga-Jensen who has impressed with his attitude within the squad despite a lack of opportunities to date.

Full-back Jordie Barrett returns to the starting line-up after coming off the bench against the Blues with Nehe-Milner Skudder moving to the wing in place of Julian Savea.

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Brad Shields, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Julian Savea

Date: Friday, May 18
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: James Doleman (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)