11 Feb 2016

All Blacks back for Hurricanes

3:44 pm on 11 February 2016

The Hurricanes have named five World Cup-winning All Blacks in their squad for Saturday's Super Rugby preseason game against the Blues in Eketahuna.

Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara clears a ruck against the Blues

Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara clears a ruck against the Blues Photo: Photosport

Halfback TJ Perenara will captain the Hurricanes for the first time, while fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder, wing Julian Savea, first five Beauden Barrett and No.8 Victor Vito will all play for the first time since their World Cup final win over Australia last year.

The match will also feature the Hurricanes debut of former Warriors rugby league player and NRL rookie of the year Ngani Laumape, who will combine with centre Matt Proctor in the midfield.

Laumape, along with wing Cory Jane, were among a sizable group of Hurricanes players who missed the team's opening preseason match against the Force in Sydney last week.

Hurricanes 2016 vice-captain Perenara takes the leadership role in the absence of season skipper Dane Coles, who is attending a wedding, with Samoan World Cup hooker Motu Matu'u starting in the number two jersey.

Coach Chris Boyd said it was important to give his All Blacks some meaningful game time two weeks out from the start of the season proper.

The Hurricanes will one more preseason match, against the Crusaders in Blenheim next Friday, before their Super Rugby season kicks off against the Brumbies in Canberra on February 26th.


15 Nehe Milner-Skudder

14 Cory Jane

13 Matt Proctor

12 Ngani Laumape

11 Julian Savea

10 Beauden Barrett

9 TJ Perenara (c)

8 Victor Vito

7 Callum Gibbins

6 Brad Shields

5 Mark Abbott

4 Blade Thomson

3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen

2 Motu Matu'u

1 Reggie Goodes

Reserves from: Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Ben May, Hisa Sasagi, Loni Uhila, James Blackwell, Vaea Fifita, Tony Lamborn, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Otere Black, James Marshall, Pita Ahki, Willis Halaholo, Jason Woodward, Wes Goosen, Malo Tuitama.