Umaga and Smith to team up

Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper made four changes to his team to play the Western Force in a Super 14 Round Six match at the Subiaco Oval, Perth, on Friday.

This is the first of a three-match tour that includes matches in South Africa against the Sharks in Durban and the Lions in Johannesburg.
Tana Umaga returns from an Achilles injury and also takes over as captain.

Umaga, back at second five-eighth, will reunite with centre Conrad Smith in the midfield.

Smith also returns for his first full start since Round One and his second starting role since breaking his leg at the start of last season.

Smith replaced Ma’a Nonu in last week’s 30-17 loss to the Stormers, when Nonu left the field in the first half. This week Nonu is bracketed with Tamati Ellison on the bench, pending a fitness test on his haematoma.

Blair Stewart comes in at first five-eighth in place of Jimmy Gopperth for his debut starting Super 14 match, after making his first appearance last week and converting Cory Jane’s try for his first Hurricanes points.

In one other change Hosea Gear returns to right wing for Lome Fa’atau, while the forwards remain unchanged.

Among the replacements Hayden Hopgood replaces Hayden Triggs, who also made his Hurricanes debut against the Stormers.

Lock Paul Tito will be playing in his 77th Super rugby game for the Hurricanes, moving him past David Holwell as the third most capped Hurricane behind Umaga (115*) and Christian Cullen (85).

Hurricanes: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Tana Umaga (c), 11 David Smith, 10 Blair Stewart, 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 Bradley Mika, 19 Hayden Hopgood, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Jimmy Gopperth, 22 Ma’a Nonu/Tamati Ellison

Date: Friday, 9 March
Venue: Subiaco Oval, Perth
Kick-off: 19.45 (10.45 GMT)
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
Touch judges: Christie du Preez (South Africa), Matt Goddard (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)
Assessor: Andrew Cole (Australia), Tony Dunlop (New Zealand)


365 Digital 

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