Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland has named All Blacks forward Ardie Savea captain for their first 2021 Super Rugby Aoeteroa match of the season against Blues, slated for Saturday 27.
Starting at openside flank, it will be Savea’s debut as a Canes captain, as well as his 100th cap for the Wellington based side.
Julian Savea, Ardie’s elder brother, also makes his return to the side since 2018, and will lead the attack from the blind wing.
Fraser Armstrong, Asafo Aumua and Tyrel Lomax make up the starting front row with James Blackwell and Scott Scrafton given the locking duties.
Jonathan Taumateine has been awarded the start at scrumhalf, and is joined by usual suspect Jackson Garden-Bachop in the halfbacks’ room.
Ngani Laumape is joined by Billy Proctor in midfield at inside and outside center respectively, with Wes Goosen, right wing, and Jodie Barret, full back, teaming up with Julian Savea at the back three.
In last year’s Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, the Hurricanes and Blues played out two superb games – the Blues won 30 – 20 at Eden Park, only for the Hurricanes to win 29 – 27 at Sky Stadium a few weeks later.
Hurricanes squad: 1. Fraser Armstrong 2. Asafo Aumua 3. Tyrel Lomax 4. James Blackwell 5. Scott Scrafton 6. Vaea Fifita 7. Ardie Savea [C] 8. Devan Flandera 9. Jonathan Taumateine 10. Jackson Garden-Bachop 11. Julian Savea 12. Ngani Laumape 13. Billy Proctor 14. Wes Goosen 15. Jordie Barret
Reserves: 16. Ricky Riccitteli 17. Xavier Numia 18. Alex Fidow 19. Reed Prinsep 20. Du’plessis Kirifi 21. Luke Campbell 22. Peter Umaga-Jensen 23. Salesi Rayasi