Super Rugby

Savea brothers return for Hurricanes clash with Blues

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The Hurricanes have brought the Savea brothers Ardie and Julian back for this weekend’s Super Rugby match against the Blues Blues at Eden Park.

The Hurricanes have also brought back Super Rugby’s leading try scorer Vince Aso for Saturday’s new Zealand Super Rugby derby.

Aso will start at centre in place of Matt Proctor, who will miss the match due to concussion, while Julian Savea reclaims his place on the left wing after being given a week off to re-charge his batteries.

The backline re-jig means Cory Jane shifts into the reserves with Wes Goosen switching to the right wing following a strong performance against the Waratahs.

In the forwards, Ardie Savea returns at No.8 two weeks after straining his calf against the Reds in Brisbane, pushing Reed Prinsep back to the reserves where he takes the place of Toa Halafihi.

Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles remains on ice, a sore calf delaying his return from the knee strain he picked up three weeks ago against the Highlanders.

Aso and the Savea brothers have collectively scored 16 tries during the Hurricanes opening six matches of the season. Aso is the competition’s equal leading try scorer alongside second five Ngani Laumape.

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said the selections had been fairly straight forward.

“Julian and Vince have both been in great form this season and we always expected them to return to the starting side for the Blues and Wes demanded selection after taking his opportunity against the Waratahs.

“Matty Proctor picked up a fairly minor head knock, so he wasn’t considered and he’ll go through the necessary concussion protocols. We’re lucky that Vince is equally comfortable at centre as he is on the wing.”

Boyd said he was expecting a tough match against the Blues.

“Their results probably haven’t been what they’d like, but you only have to look at the team sheet to know they have attacking threats across the park. We will need to be a lot better on defence this week to come out on the right side of the ledger.”

The Hurricanes come into the match second on the New Zealand Conference ladder with five wins and one loss, while the Blues are in fifth place with three wins and four losses.

The teams played twice in 2016 with the Hurricanes winning on occasions, 23-19 at Eden Park, and 37-27 at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett , 14 Wes Goosen , 13 Vince Aso , 12 Ngani Laumape , 11 Julian Savea , 10 Beauden Barrett , 9 TJ Perenara (c) , 8 Ardie Savea , 7 Callum Gibbins , 6 Brad Shields , 5 Michael Fatialofa , 4 Mark Abbott , 3 Jeffery To’omaga-Allen , 2 Ricky Riccitelli , 1 Ben May

Replacements : 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Cory Jane

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