23 Mar 2016

Savea out of Hurricanes team

11:29 am on 23 March 2016

The All Black winger Julian Savea has been left out of the Hurricanes squad for Friday night's Super Rugby match against the the Southern Kings in Wellington.

Hurricanes winger Julian Savea

Hurricanes winger Julian Savea Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has made three changes to his starting fifteen with Willis Halaholo, Jason Woodward and Michael Fatialofa all starting after being in the reserves during the Hurricanes 41-6 win over the Western Force in Palmerston North.

Halaholo will start at centre with Vince Aso moving to the reserves, Woodward takes Savea's place on the left wing, and Fatialofa comes in at lock for Blade Thomson, who shifts to No 8 in place of Victor Vito, who will miss the match with a calf strain.

"All three of those guys who have come in will be looking put their hand up and this gives them an opportunity to do that," Boyd said. "We are very lucky with the depth we have in a number of positions and particularly in the outside backs.

"This is an important match for us. We've got some good momentum from our last two matches and we want to carry that on into the bye week with a good performance in front of our home fans."

There are also a number of changes to the reserves where utility back Matt Proctor returns from a knee injury and halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and lock Geoff Cridge make their first appearances of the season.

Tahuriorangi has played a limited role in the opening weeks of the season after battling a leg infection picked up during the preseason, while Cridge has recently returned to the field after recovering from a shoulder injury.

In the final change, Loni Uhila comes back into the squad for Reggie Goodes, who took a head knock against the Force.

Friday's match against the Kings will be the Hurricanes first at Westpac Stadium in 2016 after playing in Canberra, Dunedin, Auckland and Palmerston North in the opening month.

The Hurricanes have played the Kings on only one previous occasion, winning 46-30 in Wellington in 2013.

Hurricanes team to play the Southern Kings at Westpac Stadium on Friday, March 25:

15 James Marshall

14 Cory Jane

13 Willis Halaholo

12 Ngani Laumape

11 Jason Woodward

10 Beauden Barrett

9 TJ Perenara (vc)

8 Blade Thomson

7 Ardie Savea

6 Vaea Fifita

5 Mark Abbott

4 Michael Fatialofa

3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen

2 Dane Coles (c)

1 Chris Eves

Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli, Loni Uhila, Ben May, Geoff Cridge, Callum Gibbins, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor.

Unavailable due to injury: Nehe Milner-Skudder (shoulder), Brad Shields (lacerated thumb), Victor Vito (calf), Reggie Goodes (concussion).

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