Super Rugby Aotearoa

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles makes welcome return for Hurricanes

Dane Coles and Beauden Barrett (Getty Images)
Dane Coles and Beauden Barrett (Getty Images)

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles will return from injury to start for the Hurricanes in Saturday's Super Rugby Aotearoa clash against the Blues in Wellington.

Kick-off is at 09:05 (SA time).

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The Hurricanes currently sit four points shy of the Auckland-based side and will be in search of redemption following a 30-20 loss at Eden Park in Round 1.

Other than Coles, only two other changes have been made to the XV which beat the Highlanders 17-11 last Sunday.

Jackson Garden-Bachop gets back the No 10 jersey from Fletcher Smith and Peter Umaga-Jensen makes a return to the mid-field.

Head coach Jason Holland told the Hurricanes' official website that momentum is building after a slow start to the competition,

"We can't wait to get back out there in front of our home fans again. They have recovered well and are looking forward to the physical challenge."

Very little change has been made to the bench, but Fraser Armstrong comes back into the fold after sitting out for a week due to a knee injury.

Holland believes having depth is vital.

"It's going to take 80 minutes to get the result and the bench can be the difference in these derbies."

Whilst the Blues have won their last two matches against the Hurricanes, they have not won three in succession since 2003.

Teams:

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 TJ Perenara (co-captain), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du'Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles (co-captain), 1 Ben May

Substitutes: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Vaea Fifita, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Wes Goosen

Blues

15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Emoni Narawa, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Harry Plummer, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Aaron Carroll, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman

Substitutes: 16 Tolai Luteru, 17 Marcel Renata, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 TJ Faiane, 23 Matt Duffie