Super Rugby

Milestones for Hurricanes duo against Crusaders

Vaea Fifita (File)
Vaea Fifita (File)

Wellington - Hurricanes forwards Vaea Fifita and Ricky Riccitelli will make their 50th appearances for the franchise in Friday New Zealand derby showdown against the two-time defending Super Rugby champion Crusaders.

The pair have been named to start the match at Westpac Stadium in a largely unchanged side from the one which defeated the Stormers 34-28 last weekend.

Senior players TJ Perenara and Ngani Laumape return to the Hurricanes starting XV after missing the Stormers match.

They are the only changes Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree has made although there is one positional shift which sees Jordie Barrett move from the midfield to the right wing in place of Wes Goosen.

Goosen, who impressed scoring two tries against the Stormers, has been named on the bench.

Riccitelli, who made his debut for the Hurricanes against the Brumbies in 2016, will start after Dane Coles was ruled out with a minor calf injury.

Fifita, who made his debut against the Blues in 2015, has again be named at blindside flanker.

The return of Perenara has seen Richard Judd move on to a reserves bench which features the recall of experienced prop Chris Eves and exciting young loose forward Du'Plessis Kirifi.

Plumtree was really pleased with the character shown against the Stormers.

"The leaders involved in that match really stood up, for the whole week really, and we will need that again in what is a great challenge for us against the Crusaders," he told the Hurricanes' official website.

"We expect TJ and Ngani to add a lot to that leadership group and they will also bring a lot of energy. It's a match we are really looking forward to along with our fans who we hope can give us a real advantage."

Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 08:35 (SA time).

Teams:

Hurricanes

15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Liam Mitchell, 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 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Wes Goosen

Crusaders

15 David Havili, 14 Braydon Ennor, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5  Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Harry Allan

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Oli Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Will Jordan

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