Super Rugby

Plumtree backs Barrett for midfield role

 Jordie Barrett (Getty)
Jordie Barrett (Getty)

Wellington - Hurricanes coach John Plumtree has made two changes to his starting XV to face the Highlanders in a Super Rugby encounter in Dunedin on Friday.

Kick-off is at 08:35 (SA time).

Plumtree has named Kane Le'aupepe to start at lock after the 26-year-old impressed off the bench in his first appearance for the franchise in last week's loss to the Crusaders.

Le'aupepe, who came into the Hurricanes squad as injury cover, replaces Liam Mitchell who moves to the bench following a heavy workload in his first season of Super Rugby.

The other change to the starting side is at centre where Jordie Barrett moves in from the wing with Matt Proctor moving to the bench.

The change means a start on the right wing for Wes Goosen who will make his 30th appearance for the Hurricanes.

The bench stays largely the same with the exception being the reserve scrumhalf spot with Finlay Christie replacing Richard Judd.

TJ Perenara retains the captaincy with Dane Coles ruled out for a second week with a minor calf injury.

"While we were disappointed with the result against the Crusaders the coaching group still found some positives in how we played, especially the way we performed up front," Plumtree told the Hurricanes' official website.

"The challenge for us now is to get the rest of our game to where it needs to be against what will be a really motivated Highlanders team who will be desperate to play well in front of their home fans."

Teams:

Highlanders

15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Richard Buckman, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock (co-captain), 7 James Lentjes, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone

Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Rob Thompson

Hurricanes

15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Jordie Barrett, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Kane Le'aupepe, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Fraser Armstrong

Substitutes: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Liam Mitchell, 21 Du'Plessis Kirifi, 22 Finlay Christie, 23 Matt Proctor

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