3 May 2017

Perenara to lead Canes, Thomson out for season

11:18 am on 3 May 2017

Halfback TJ Perenara returns as captain for the Hurricanes Super Rugby match against the Stormers in Wellington on Friday night, but loose forward Blade Thomson's season is over.

TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes.

TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes. Photo: PhotoSport

Callum Gibbins starts at openside in one of only two changes to the side that started against the Brumbies in Napier a fortnight ago.

The Hurricanes had a bye last week.

Perenara, who was on the bench against the Brumbies, switches places with Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, and reclaims the captaincy from flanker Brad Shields.

Shields led the side for the first time during the 56-21 win over the Brumbies.

Regular skipper Dane Coles is still sidelined with a calf injury.

Gibbins comes back into the starting side for Thomson, whose season appears over following a dislocated shoulder in Napier.

Ardie Savea shifts to No.8 for the fourth time this season.

The reshuffle in the loose forwards means Reed Prinsep comes back into the match day 23 on the bench.

Boyd says it would be a mistake to take the Stormers lightly despite recent heavy losses to the Crusaders and Highlanders.

"It was only a few weeks ago that they beat the Chiefs in Cape Town and were on a six match winning streak, so we know they are a very good side.

"They've had a couple of results they'll be disappointed with in the past two weeks in New Zealand and I think they will be highly motivated to put a good performance on the park against us in Wellington."

Before beating the Chiefs, the Stormers had rolled over the Bulls, Jaguares, Kings, Sunwolves and Cheetahs to start their season.

Last time the Hurricanes played the Stormers was during round eight of the 2015 season when they won 25-20 at Westpac Stadium.

The clubs did not play each other in 2016.

The Hurricanes team:

15 Jordie Barrett

14 Cory Jane

13 Vince Aso

12 Ngani Laumape

11 Julian Savea

10 Beauden Barrett

9 TJ Perenara (c )

8 Ardie Savea

7 Callum Gibbins

6 Brad Shields

5 Vaea Fifita

4 Mark Abbott

3 Jeffery To'omaga-Allen

2 Ricky Riccitelli

1 Ben May


16 Leni Apisai

17 Chris Eves

18 Mike Kainga

19 James Blackwell

20 Reed Prinsep

21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi

22 Otere Black

23 Ben Lam