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Beauden Barrett returns for the Hurricanes against Brumbies

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Wellington’s Super rugby team the Hurricanes have included their record points scorer Beauden Barrett in the starting team to play the Brumbies in Palmerston North on Friday.

Barrett, who has scored 1120 points in 113 matches for the Hurricanes, has yet to feature in 2019 but will add a wealth of experience and excitement to the squad.


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His return is one of seven changes Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree has made to the starting side from last week’s match against the Crusaders.

Vice captain and fellow centurion TJ Perenara returns at halfback after coming off the bench against the Crusaders.

Ngani Laumape will get the opportunity to run out in his home province while Chase Tiatia will make his Hurricanes debut at fullback.

Plumtree said the 23-year-old has worked extremely hard throughout the pre-season programme and impressed for the Hurricanes Hunters in the last fortnight.

Up front, Ardie Savea returns to the loose forward trio at No 8 in place of Gareth Evans who has suffered a calf injury while Vaea Fifita will wear the No 6 jersey.

Fifita’s return follows a strong 50-minute effort for the Hunters in last week’s win over the Crusaders Knights in Christchurch.

The other change in the pack is at tighthead prop where the evergreen Ben May starts with Jeff To’omaga-Allen set to feature off the bench.

Plumtree said the squad was desperate to put in a better performance than the one against the Crusaders in what will be their first home match in 2019.

“We want to improve a lot of aspects of our play and hopefully we can do that in front of what will be a great crowd in Palmy.

“We were really impressed with the performance the Brumbies put out last week so we know the scale of task ahead of us but it’s a great challenge for the squad.”

Hurricanes

15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Chris Eves

Replacements : 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Wes Goosen

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