Hurricanes v Crusaders - Super Rugby match preview

Last Updated: 08/03/13 12:54pm

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Hurricanes forward Victor Vito will make his 50th appearance

Hurricanes forward Victor Vito will make his 50th appearance

Sky Bet

The Hurricanes have made just the one positional change for Friday's Super Rugby encounter with the Crusaders.

Victor Vito, who will be making his 50th appearance for the Wellington franchise, and Brad Shield will swap shirts for the clash. Vito will start at No 8, with Shield moving to the blindside.

Coach Mark Hammett has rejigged his bench slightly, though, with Ben May covering the front row and Motu Matu'u has been bracketed with Ash Dixon.

Along with Vito, the match will see Dane Coles also celebrate his half-century milestone.

The Crusaders have also made minimal changes for the clash - with Johnny McNicholl and Tom Marshall coming in on the wing and Dominic Bird named in the second row.

The inclusion of Marshall and McNicholl means Adam Whitelock and Tom Taylor drop to the bench and Israel Dagg moves to full-back.

Bird comes into the side for the injured Luke Romano, with Tom Donnelly providing cover among the replacements.

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

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tom Taylor, 22 Adam Whitelock.

What they said...

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett

"These guys are proud Hurricanes and should enjoy the occasion as reaching your 50th cap is no small feat.

"Both Colesy and Vic have worked extremely hard to get there and that's why they have also achieved higher honours with the All Blacks.

"They know there is a job at hand, and being the kind of guys they are, that will be their only focus on Friday night."

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