Super Rugby: Hurricanes v Blues match preview
Last Updated: 16/04/14 8:22am
The Hurricanes have made just one change to their starting XV for Friday’s Super Rugby derby with the Blues at Westpac Stadium.
Having had the chance to rest following their win over the Bulls – with the Wellington franchise enjoying a bye last weekend – only Ben Franks is missing through injury.
That means Reggie Goodes starts at loosehead prop, while Tim Bateman, Chris Smylie, Motu Matu'u, Ardie Savea and Matt Proctor are fit enough to take their places on the bench.
The Blues also had the week off and they will be buoyed by the return of several key players – including veteran hooker Keven Mealamu.
Captain Luke Braid, Jerome Kaino Patrick Tuipulotu, Tom Donnelly, Chris Noakes and Lolagi Visinia also come into the line-up.
Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan said: "It's great to welcome Kevvie back.
"He's had just 20 minutes for us this season so it was a decision as to whether we brought him off the bench or just threw him out there and I think he's got the experience and the fitness to be able to start. He's 100 percent so we'll just get him out there from the start."
Hurricanes: 15 Taylor, 14 Jane, 13 C Smith (c), 12 Leiua, 11 J Savea, 10 Barrett, 9 Perenara, 1 Goodes, 2 Coles, 3 Toomaga-Allen, 4 Thrush, 5 Broadhurst, 6 Levave, 7 Lam, 8 Vito
Replacements: 16 Matu'u, 17 Eves, 18 Schwalger, 19 Thomson, 20 A Savea, 21 Smylie, 22 Bateman, 23 Proctor
Blues: 15 Piutau, 14 Moala, 13 Saili, 12 Nonu, 11 Visinia, 10 Noakes, 9 Hall, 1 Woodcock, 2 Mealamu, 3 Faumuina, 4 Tuipulotu, 5 Donnelly, 6 Luatua, 7 Braid (c), 8 Luatua.
Replacements: 16 Parsons, 17 Prattley, 18 Ta'avao, 19 Moli, 20 O'Connor, 21 Gibson-Park, 22 Marshall, 23 Halai