Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has named a team with three changes to the starting XV for Friday’s clash against the Southern Kings in Wellington at Wetpac Stadium.
Willis Halaholo, Jason Woodward and Michael Fatialofa all come into the Hurricanes starting line up from the replacements bench last week.
Halaholo starts at centre and his place on the bench is taken by Vince Aso. Woodward takes Julian Savea’s place on the left wing, and Fatialofa come in at lock for Blade Thomson, who shifts to No 8 in place of Victor Vito, who will miss the match with a calf strain.
“All three of those guys who have come in will be looking put their hand up and this gives them an opportunity to do that,” Boyd said.
“We are very lucky with the depth we have in a number of positions and particularly in the outside backs.
“This is an important match for us. We’ve got some good momentum from our last two matches and we want to carry that on into the bye week with a good performance in front of our home fans.”
There are also a number of changes to the reserves where utility back Matt Proctor returns from a knee injury and halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and lock Geoff Cridge make their first appearances of the season.
Tahuriorangi has played a limited role in the opening weeks of the season after battling a leg infection picked up during the preseason, while Cridge has recently returned to the field after recovering from a shoulder injury.
In the final change, Loni Uhila comes back into the squad for Reggie Goodes, who took a head knock against the Force.
Friday’s match against the Kings will be the Hurricanes first at Westpac Stadium in 2016
Nehe Milner-Skudder (shoulder), Brad Shields (lacerated thumb), Victor Vito (calf), Reggie Goodes (concussion) were not considered for selection due to injury.
15 James Marshall , 14 Cory Jane , 13 Willis Halaholo 12 Ngani Laumape , 11 Jason Woodward , 10 Beauden Barrett , 9 TJ Perenara (vc) , 8 Blade Thomson , 7 Ardie Savea , 6 Vaea Fifita , 5 Mark Abbott , 4 Michael Fatialofa , 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen , 2 Dane Coles (c) , 1 Chris Eves
Replacments: Ricky Riccitelli, Loni Uhila, Ben May, Geoff Cridge, Callum Gibbins, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor.