7 Jun 2017

Julian Savea to play 100th game for Hurricanes

3:04 pm on 7 June 2017

Winger Julian Savea will start his 100th Super Rugby match for the Hurricanes when they face the Chiefs at Westpac Stadium on Friday.

Julian Savea

Julian Savea Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Savea returns to the left wing in place of Ben Lam as one of six changes to the team that beat the Western Force 34-12 in Perth last weekend.

He will become the 10th player to reach 100 matches for the Hurricanes, joining Tana Umaga, Rodney So'oialo, Andrew Hore, Neemia Tialata, Jeremy Thrush, Ma'a Nonu, Victor Vito, Conrad Smith and Cory Jane.

26 year old Savea made his Hurricanes debut against the Highlanders in 2009 and has been a fixture on the wing ever since.

Though it took him 16 matches to score his first Super Rugby try, Savea has crossed the line 45 times in his seven seasons for the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes' Head Coach Chris Boyd said it was a significant achievement for any player to reach 100 Super Rugby matches.

"To play 100 matches at this level shows a high level of commitment and professionalism and for Julian to do it in the Hurricanes jersey is a great story.

"He's a local guy who has been in the Wellington and Hurricanes system since he was at Rongotai College and he came through the Oriental Rongotai club, so I think a lot of people will be very proud on Friday night."

Julian Savea said it had always been a privilege to represent the club and it would be a proud moment to bring up his 100th match in front of friends and family at Westpac Stadium.

"This team means a lot to me and I've always felt privileged and proud to represent the club. I'm really looking forward to running out against the Chiefs and hopefully we can get the right result."

NZR Board Member Mark Robinson will present Savea with a greenstone mere, the traditional gift for players who have played 100 Super Rugby matches, all for New Zealand teams.

Winger Nehe Milner-Skudder and loose forward Ardie Savea return to the starting line-up, which also features an all-new front row of Chris Eves, Leni Apisai and Jeffery To'omaga-Allen.

Eves and To'omaga-Allen replace Loni Uhila and Ben May respectively as the props, with Apisai getting his first start of the season at hooker in place of Ricky Riccitelli.

Riccitelli is bracketed amoing the reserves with Bay of Plenty's James O'Reilly, who will make his Super Rugby debut if he takes the field.

Ardie Savea comes back in at No.8 with Brad Shields reverting to blindside and Reed Prinsep to the reserves.

Milner-Skudder is back in the starting side on the right wing in place of Cory Jane, after making his return from a broken foot via the bench against the Force in Perth last week.

Matt Proctor, who has been out for seven weeks recovering from concussion, will make his return via the reserves bench this week.

Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (captain), Ardie Savea, Callum Gibbins, Brad Shields, Vaea Fifita, Sam Lousi, Jeff To'omaga-Allen, Leni Apisai, Chris Eves. Res: Ricky Riccitelli /James O'Reilly, Loni Uhila, Mike Kainga, Mark Abbott, Reed Prinsep, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Matt Proctor, Wes Goosen.