Umaga takes over captaincy again

Tana Umaga has been reinstated as captain of the Hurricanes, for their Super 14 Round Two match against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.

Umaga, who came off the bench in the disappointing First Round loss to the Reds last week, takes over the team leadership from the injured Conrad Smith, who damaged his eye socket in the opening game of the Super 14.

Several changes have been made to the side, as coach Colin Cooper tries to deal with the fall-out from the 2006 finalists’ opening loss.

Tamati Ellison will partner Umaga in the centres, while Ma’a Nonu has been moved from the midfield to wing in place of David Smith.

A change has also been made at scrum-half, with Alby Mathewson to make his first start for the Hurricanes. The Wellington club player of the year and New Zealand Under-21 representative replaces Chris Smylie in the No.9 jersey.

Among the forwards Serge Lilo has been named as the openside flank ahead of Nili Latu.

Cooper has to play a waiting game with his props, after injuries to two props resulted in uncontested scrums in the Reds game.

John Schwalger faces a fitness test before he can play and has been bracketed with Tony Penn, while Tim Fairbrother has been ruled out with a dislocated shoulder. Anthony Perenise has been bracketed with Penn on the bench and could come into the 22-man squad if Schwalger is ruled out.

Hurricanes: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Tana Umaga (c), 12 Tamati Ellison, 11 Ma’a Nonu, 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/Tony Penn
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Tony Penn/Anthony Perenise, 18 Bradley Mika, 19 Hayden Hopgood, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 David Smith, 22 Shannon Paku

Date: Friday, 9 February
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Bryce Lawrence

365 Digital

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