Hurricanes

Ripia holds off Gopperth again

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Willie Ripia spent most of yesterday’s training session at first five-eighth in a backline that featured the expected return of All Blacks centre Conrad Smith, while Hosea Gear had replaced Shannon Paku on the wing.


This means that Jimmy Gopperth will have to come off the bench to replace Ripia if he is to earn his 50th Super 14 cap for the Hurricanes.


All Blacks prop Neemia Tialata who missed last week’s victory over the Lions with a throat injury will pack down at loosehead.


Tialata is the only change to the pack which means that Jerry Collins has been left out again after he picked up sore ribs. Collins has missed two matches already.


Scott Waldrom will again start at openside in a match that should see the Hurricanes confirm their place in the semifinals if they beat the Force with a bonus point.


Hurricanes:

 

Cory Jane, Hosea Gear, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Zac Guildford, Willie Ripia, Piri Weepu, Rodney So’oialo, Scott Waldrom, Chris Masoe, Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush, Neemia Tialata, Andrew Hore, Tim Fairbrother.

Reserves: Hikawera Elliot, John Schwalger, Craig Clarke, Thomas Waldrom, Alby Mathewson, Jimmy Gopperth, Shannon Paku.

 

Super14.com

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