Hammett picks new faces for Hurricanes

Rookie Marty Banks will make his Super Rugby debut from fullback. Photo / Getty Images
Rookie Marty Banks will make his Super Rugby debut from fullback. Photo / Getty Images

The injury concerns dogging the Hurricanes have seen coach Mark Hammett name a handful of new faces in his side to meet the Sharks in Durban on Sunday morning (NZT).

With loose forwards Victor Vito and Brad Shields both hobbled by knee complaints, Blade Thomson, who made a lone appearance for the Hurricanes off the bench last season, will make his starting debut at No 8.

Wider training group member Adam Hill could be in line for a Super Rugby debut via the bench as loose forward cover with Ardie Savea not named in the matchday squad.

Newcomer Hadleigh Parkes will fill the void of a crocked Tim Bateman (knee) at second-five, while rookie Marty Banks will make his Super Rugby debut from fullback.

Manawatu prop and wider training group member Chris Eves has won a spot on the bench due to Reg Goodes' toe ailment and could also make his maiden appearance in the competition.

Hawke's Bay lock Mark Abbott has won a start in the second-row, which caps a rapid rise to Super Rugby level.

Hurricanes: Marty Banks, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith (captain), Hadleigh Parkes, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Blade Thomson, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, Mark Abbott, Jeremy Thrush, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles, Ben Franks. Reserves: Motu Matu'u, Chris Eves, John Schwalger, Mark Reddish, Adam Hill, Chris Smylie, Alapati Leiua, James Marshall

- APNZ

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