‘Canes to cause a storm in midfield

The Hurricanes will field a formidable midfield pairing of former and current All Blacks Tana Umaga and Ma’a Nonu, as the pair look to record their first Super 14 win this season against the Blues at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

With Conrad Smith still out with an eye injury, Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper has opted to go back to his tried and tested pairing of Nonu and Umaga.

The duo caused havoc amongst opposition in the last year’s Air New Zealand Cup whilst Smith was sidelined with a broken leg.

The battle between Umaga and Nonu and the Blues all-star pairing of Luke McAlister and Isa Toeava promises to be the icing on top of the ‘Cake Tin’ clash.

The selection of Nonu in the midfield signals a return to the bench for promising youngster Tamati Ellison. David Smith has been included on the left wing having joined the Hurricanes on the draft from the Blues.

Hurricanes: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Tana Umaga (c), 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 David Smith, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Alby Mathewson; 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Serge Lilo, 6 Luke Andrews, 5 Bernie Upton, 4 Paul Tito, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Tone Kopelani, 1 John Schwalger
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18 Brad Mika, 19 Nili Latu, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Tamati Ellison, 22 Shannon Paku

Date: Saturday, 17 February
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Touch judges: Christie du Preez (South Africa), Paul Honiss (New Zealand)
Television match official: Gary Wise (New Zealand)

365 Digital

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