Cooper Consistent for Crusaders

Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper has named an unchanged starting XV for his team’s Super 14 crunch match against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday.

However, injury concerns over veteran lock Paul Tito may yet force him into a late change.

Tito limped off during last weekend’s 37-15 win over the Cheetahs and has been bracketed in the side with Luke Andrews. Tito is suffering from a back injury.

Cooper said he’ll give Tito as long as possible to prove his fitness and he’s unlikely to make a final decision until just before kick-off.

Cooper made two changes to the replacement bench, Tone Kopelani and Serge Lilo coming onto the bench for Mo Schwalger and Bradley Mika respectively.

Hurricanes: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Shannon Paku, 10 Piri Weepu, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Rodney So’oialo (c), 7 Chris Masoe, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Paul Tito/Luke Andrews, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 John Schwalger.
Replacements: 16 Tone Kopelani, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18 Luke Andrews/Bernie Upton, 19 Serge Lilo, 20 Jimmy Gopperth, 21 David Smith, 22 Tana Umaga.

Date: Friday, 20 April
Venue: Jade Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Steve Walsh (New Zealand), Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)
Television match official: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
Assessor: Stuart Beissel


365 Digital

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