Hurricanes Super Rugby coach Chris Boyd has included Nehe Milner-Skudder in his team to play the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.
Boyd has made six changes to the team that started against the Bulls in Pretoria with three in the backs and three in the forwards.
However, it is Milner-Skudder’s presence in in the reserves that stands out in the match day 23.
The mercurial outside back has not played since breaking two bones in his foot against the Chiefs in Hamilton back in round three.
“It’s great to have Nehe back in the mix. I know he’s worked extremely hard during his rehab and he can’t wait to pull on the Hurricanes jersey and get back into the campaign,” Boyd said.
After missing the opening match of the season with a minor hamstring strain, Milner-Skudder started at fullback against the Rebels and lasted 54 minutes against the Chiefs before a defender landed heavily on his foot.
The outside back isn’t the only player returning in Perth with first five Beauden Barrett back in the No.10 jersey after being withdrawn from the Hurricanes match against the Bulls as a precaution after reporting headaches in South Africa.
Boyd said Barrett passed his concussion protocols and satisfied the medical team he was symptom free and ready to play.
Barrett takes over from Otere Black in running a backline that includes Cory Jane on the right wing in place of the injured Wes Goosen (shoulder) and Ben Lam on the left for Julian Savea, who now looks set to play his 100th match for the Hurricanes against the Chiefs in Wellington next Friday.
In the forwards Callum Gibbins replaces Ardie Savea at openside, Reed Prinsep starts at blindside, and Ben May takes over at tight head prop from Jeff To’omaga-Allen.
Prinsep’s return to the starting team pushes Vaea Fifita back to lock and allows Mark Abbott to ease onto the reserves where To’omaga-Allen appears for the first time after starting the first 12 matches of the season.
Jordie Barrett, Cory Jane, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (c), Brad Shields, Callum Gibbins, Reed Prinsep, Vaea Fifita, Sam Lousi, Ben May, Ricky Riccitelli, Loni Uhila.
Replacements: Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Jeff To’omaga-Allen, Mark Abbott, Ardie Savea, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Otere Black, Nehe Milner-Skudder.