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Shields to lead Hurricanes against Brumbies

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Current Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes have named loose forward Brad Shields to captain the side for the first time in Friday’s Super Rugby match against the Brumbies at McLean Park in Napier.

Shields assumes the captaincy in his 76th appearance for the club, the match will also mark significant milestones for halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and reserve back Ben Lam.

Tahuriorangi makes his first Super Rugby start following three previous appearances off the bench, while Lam, who has been capped seven times with the Blues, is poised to make his Hurricanes debut after being named in the reserves.

Tahuriorangi replaces TJ Perenara, who moves to the reserves, while wing Cory Jane comes back into the team on the right wing for Wes Goosen.

In total there are four personnel changes to the side that ran out against the Blues last weekend at Eden Park, including two in the pack where Blade Thomson and Vaea Fifita start at No.8 and lock respectively.

Thomson returns to the field eight weeks after dislocating his shoulder during the Hurricanes round one win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo, while Fifita replaces Michael Fatialofa who suffered a knee injury at Eden Park.

The reshuffle means Ardie Savea shifts back to openside, after several weeks at the back of the scrum, and Callum Gibbins into the reserves where he is joined by lock/loose forward James Blackwell.

Hurricanes

Jordie Barrett, Cory Jane, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi; Blade Thomson, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields (c), Vaea Fifita, Mark Abbott, Jeffery To’omaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Ben May.

Replacements : Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Mike Kainga, James Blackwell, Callum Gibbins, TJ Perenara, Otere Black, Ben Lam.

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