Super Rugby

Hurricanes include Hawke’s Bay stars for Sunwolves




Hurricanes Super rugby head coach Jason Holland has named several Hawke’s Bay players in his 23-man squad to face the Sunwolves at McLean Park.

Gareth Evans, Devan Flanders, Ben May and Isaia Walker-Leawere all play for Hawke’s Bay in the Mitre 10 Cup and have been named in the squad for the Sunwolves.

Evans who first wore the black and yellow jersey at McLean Park in 2018 says he’s excited to get back.

“It’s been a while, so I’ve been really looking forward to this trip. I know we’ve got a lot of support for the team up where I’m from in Havelock North and the rest of the Hawke’s Bay, so it’ll be nice to put on a show for them.”

TJ Perenara will once again captain the side, which is on a winning streak after taking down the Jaguares in Buenos Aires and the Sharks at Sky Stadium.

He’ll be accompanied by a strong backline including Fletcher Smith at first five, Ngani Laumape at second five and Chase Tiatia, who makes a return as fullback.

South African winger, Kobus Van Wyk, will get to show his raw pace to a kiwi crowd, being named in the starting line-up on the right wing.

Meanwhile, Ben Lam will be looking to replicate his try-scoring form he showcased against the Sharks on the left wing.

Head coach, Jason Holland, says fans will be treated to a running rugby spectacle.

“It should be pretty thrilling for the crowd at McLean Park. The Sunwolves have a few quick boys in the ranks, but so do we. We’re ready for 80 minutes played at a high intensity.

Up front, there is plenty of firepower too.

James Blackwell comes back into the fold after resting a toe injury and Fraser Armstrong will be replaced by Xavier Numia at loosehead prop.

Whilst the Sunwolves have never beaten the Hurricanes, in last year’s match-up in Tokyo they led 23 – 10 going into halftime.

Holland says, they’re the type of team that thrives on being the underdog.

“We know that they will capitalise on any mistakes we make, so we need to be accurate.


15 Chase Tiatia. 14 Kobus Van Wyk. 13 Vince Aso. 12 Ngani Laumape. 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia

Replacements : 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Ben May, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 James Marshall, 23 Peter Umaga-Jensen

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