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Hurricanes start five All Blacks against Blues

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Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has included five of his All Blacks in the Super Rugby team to play the Blues in Wellington.

Boyd has made one change to the team that beat the Highlanders before Super Rugby’s June break.

Other than lock Vaea Fifita, Boyd has named the same run-on fifteen that played against the Highlanders on May 27 with All Blacks Dane Coles, Beauden Barrett, Ardie Savea, Julian Savea and TJ Perenara all fit and ready to resume their Super Rugby duties.

Fifita comes into the starting team in place of Blade Thomson, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in training during Super Rugby’s June break.

“We felt like we were building some good momentum when the competition stopped for the June internationals and clearly we’ll be hoping to pick up where we left off, so continuity is important,” Boyd said.

“Our All Blacks have all come back in really good nick and they’ve slipped right back into our environment which has been great.

“The challenge for everyone is getting back into competition mode after a month off, but we believe we’ve prepared well over the break. We had a good, tough hit out against Melbourne Rebels last week and we’ve trained well as a group. The guys can’t wait to get back out on Westpac Stadium in front of their home crowd.”

Boyd said the Blues presented a significant test.

“They are a quality side with attacking threats right across the park, so we know we will have to be at our best if we want to compete.”

While Fifita is the only change to the starting side, Boyd has reshuffled a reserves bench that includes in-form USA Eagles openside Tony Lamborn.

Hooker Ricky Riccitelli comes in for Motu Matu’u, who is out after breaking his arm while playing for Samoa, Mark Abbott takes Fifita’s place on the bench, and Willis Halaholo provides midfield cover in the absence of Ngani Laumape, who is out with a groin injury.

Motu Matu’u (arm), Blade Thomson (shoulder), Ngani Laumape (groin), Callum Gibbins (concussion) were unavailable for selection due to injury.

Hurricanes

15 James Marshall , 14 Cory Jane , 13 Matt Proctor , 12 Vince Aso , 11 Julian Savea , 10 Beauden Barrett , 9 TJ Perenara (vc) , 8 Victor Vito , 7 Ardie Savea , 6 Brad Shields , 5 Michael Fatialofa , 4 Vaea Fifita , 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen , 2 Dane Coles (c) , 1 Reggie Goodes

Replacements: Ricky Riccitelli, Chris Eves, Loni Uhila, Mark Abbott, Tony Lamborn, Jamison Gibson Park, Willis Halaholo, Jason Woodward.

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1 Comment

  1. Vincent George

    30th June 2016 at 6:30 pm

    You would think having 5 All Blacks within your starting lineup would give you a strong chance to win. I am interested in the reserve flanker, Tony Lamborn. I think the USA National team will be better in just a few years. Having rugby, though it is half-rugby, in the Olympics is going to help the US. If the NFL New England Patriots player Nate Ebner makes the USA 7s team the world will see the rise of a great rugby power. Ebner’s inclusion could give great American football and basketball players a sporting option when all paths in their chosen first sport is blocked. Can you imagine the backup North Carolina power forward playing lock? How about an Alabama linebacker at flanker?

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