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Hurricanes start Savea against British & Irish Lions

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Hurricanes Super Rugby head coach Chris Boyd has included All Blacks backs Julian Savea, Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape in his team to play the British & Irish Lions.

The trio will return to their club colours for an historic match that will be played at a sold out Westpac Stadium on Tuesday.

The Hurricanes team will be led by No.8 Brad Shields who will captain the team in his 84th appearance for the club. He is one of only two players in the squad to have started all 14 of the team’s matches in 2017 along with second five Laumape.

Savea has been named on the left wing where he has started 12 of the Hurricanes 14 matches in 2017, while Barrett will wear the No.15 jersey for the 12th time in his first season of Super Rugby.

Laumape will take his place at second five where he has scored 14 tries and formed a dangerous combination with centre Vince Aso, who has also scored 14 tries – a single season Hurricanes record.

A fourth player involved in the All Blacks already this season is blindside flanker Vaea Fifita who made his test debut against Samoa at North Harbour Stadium.

The defending Super Rugby champion’s starting team also includes four Maori All Blacks in right wing Nehe Milner-Skudder, first five Otere Black, halfback Te Toirora-Tahuriorangi and prop Ben May.

The reserves bench features 2017 New Zealand Under 20s halfback Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, who is in line to make his Hurricanes debut, as well as three Maori All Blacks in loose forward Reed Prinsep and props Chris Eves and Mike Kainga.

Former All Blacks wing Cory Jane will mark a unique milestone if he takes the field. It would be the 53 test All Blacks second appearance against The British & Irish Lions after he came off the bench for the Wellington Lions at the same venue in 2005.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said he was pleased to have some of his All Blacks contingent back for the match.

“We are under no illusions as to the challenge The British & Irish Lions will present and we want to put our best foot forward for what promises to be a memorable occasion.

“It’s a fantastic event for our club, but also for the city of Wellington and the region, so hopefully the match will live up to its billing. We are looking forward to kick off.”

The match against The British & Irish Lions will be the first time the Hurricanes have played an international opponent.

It will also be the third time Boyd and his assistant John Plumtree have coached against The British & Irish Lions after teaming up to guide the Wellington Lions in 2005 and the Sharks in 2009.

The Hurricanes record in 2017 is played 14 matches, won 11 and lost three. They are currently second on the New Zealand Conference ladder with one match of the Super Rugby regular season remaining.

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett , 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder , 13 Vince Aso , 12 Ngani Laumape , 11 Julian Savea , 10 Otere Black , 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi , 8 Brad Shields (c) , 7 Callum Gibbins , 6 Vaea Fifita , 5 Sam Lousi , 4 Mark Abbott , 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen , 2 Ricky Riccitelli , 1 Ben May

Reserves: 16 Leni Apisai , 17 Chris Eves , 18 Mike Kainga , 19 James Blackwell , 20 Reed Prinsep , 21 Kemara Hauiti-Parapara , 22 Wes Goosen , 23 Cory Jane

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