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Hurricanes shuffle for Bulls clash

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Hurricanes Super Rugby head coach Chris Boyd has named a reshuffled team to play the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

Boyd has named Vaea Fifita to start at blindside for the first time this season after starting the last four matches at lock.

Fifita will join openside Ardie Savea and No.8 Brad Shields in a new-look loose forward trio for round 14 of the Super Rugby season at Loftus Versfeld.

Fifita’s positional shift allows Mark Abbott to return to his regular starting spot in the second row and pushes versatile loose forward Reed Prinsep to the reserves.

There are two other changes to the team that started against the Cheetahs in Wellington with Jordie Barrett returning at fullback and Loni Uhila making his first start since round three at loose head prop.

Jordie Barrett replaces older brother Beauden, who moves back to his favoured position of first five in place of Otere Black, while Uhila takes over in the No.1 jersey from Ben May.

Last time the two teams met was in 2015 with the Hurricanes winning a close match 17-13 in Pretoria.

In contrast to the Hurricanes 2017 record of nine wins from 11 matches, the Bulls have won just three matches heading into the weekend.

However, the overall rivalry between the two clubs has been a close one with the Hurricanes holding a narrow 10-9 advantage over 19 matches. In Pretoria the teams have split the honours five apiece.

The three players in the Hurricanes 26-strong tour squad not selected in the match day 23 this week were Cory Jane, James Blackwell and James O’Reilly.

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 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 Jeffery To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Loni Uhila

Replacements :16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Ben Lam

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