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Coles and Barrett return for Hurricanes clash with Brumbies

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Defending Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes have included Beauden Barrett and hooker Dane Coles in their team to play in the Quarter-final against the Brumbies Canberra on Friday.

Barrett will wear the No.10 jersey after missing the final match of the regular season against the Crusaders due to a sinus infection in the only change to the starting fifteen.

Barrett’s replacement against the Crusaders, Otere Black, moves to the reserves, but the rest of the Hurricanes backline remains unchanged.

Jordie Barrett will again start at centre with Vince Aso ruled out for the second match in a row due to a groin strain.

Coles will play his first match in four months via the reserves bench. The Hurricanes hooker has not played since he suffered concussion against the Highlanders on March 18.

In Coles’ absence Ricky Riccitelli has been the preferred hooker with halfback TJ Perenara leading the side out and they will continue those roles against the Brumbies.

Coles takes James O’Reilly’s place in the reserves, while Black bumps wing Ben Lam out of the match day 23.

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said his squad was preparing for a tough battle in Canberra.

“The Brumbies are a quality side and we’re not reading anything into their results this season. They have a proven record in Investec Super Rugby over a long period and will be hard to beat at home.”

The Brumbies finished the 2017 regular season as the Australian Conference champions with a record of six wins and nine losses including a 56-21 loss to the Hurricanes in Napier in week nine.

Overall the Hurricanes have played the Brumbies 23 times with the men from Canberra holding a 13-10 overall win-loss advantage. The Brumbies hold an 8-4 advantage at GIO Stadium.

The two clubs have played twice before in playoff matches with the Brumbies winning 33-20 in Canberra in 1997 and the Hurricanes winning 29-9 in Wellington in 2015.

Hurricanes

15 Nehe Milner-Skudder , 14 Wes Goosen , 13 Jordie Barrett , 12 Ngani Laumape , 11 Julian Savea , 10 Beauden Barrett , 9 TJ Perenara (c) , 8 Brad Shields , 7 Ardie Savea , 6 Vaea Fifita , 5 Sam Lousi , 4 Mark Abbott , 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen , 2 Ricky Riccitelli , 1 Ben May

Replacements : 16 Dane Coles , 17 Chris Eves , 18 Loni Uhila , 19 Reed Prinsep , 20 Callum Gibbins , 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi , 22 Otere Black , 23 Cory Jane

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