Savea faces fitness test for Hurricanes final

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has retained starting team that beat the Brumbies last week for Saturday’s Super Rugby final against the Highlanders in Wellington.

Nehe Milner-Skudder left the field in last week’s Semi-final with a hamstring niggle but has recovered and been named in the starting line up for this weekend.

Ardie Savea also left the field with a knee complaint and has been named in the starting line up but will be monitored throughout the remainder of the week, with Callum Gibbins bracketed as cover

The only change to the side that played last week is at reserve hooker where Motu Matu’u returns from a knee injury.

The Super Rugby final will be a special occassion in itself but it will also quietly take on an extra meaning for a few of the men in black and yellow.

For long-serving Hurricanes Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu and Jeremy Thrush, and fellow teammates Chris Smylie, Rey Lee-Lo and Ben Franks, it will be the last time they run onto Westpac Stadium as Hurricanes.

With 468 caps between them, the six players will leave a sizeable hole at Canes when they depart at the end of the season.

Hurricanes

1.Reggie Goodes , 2.Dane Coles , 3.Ben Franks , 4.Jeremy Thrush , 5.James Broadhurst , 6.Brad Shields , 7.Ardie Savea/Callum Gibbins , 8.Victor Vito , 9.TJ Perenara , 10.Beauden Barrett , 11.Julian Savea , 12.Ma’a Nonu , 13.Conrad Smith (c) , 14.Nehe Milner-Skudder , 15.James Marshall

Replacements: 16.Motu Matu’u , 17.Chris Eves , 18.Jeffery Toomaga-Allen , 19.Callum Gibbins/Mark Abbott , 20.Blade Thomson , 21.Chris Smylie , 22.Rey Lee-Lo , 23.Matt Proctor

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