Rugby: Bateman returns for Hurricanes

Hurricanes midfielder Tim Bateman will return to the field on Friday night after being sidelined for six weeks. Photo / Getty
Hurricanes midfielder Tim Bateman will return to the field on Friday night after being sidelined for six weeks. Photo / Getty

Hurricanes midfielder Tim Bateman will return to the field on Friday night after being sidelined with a knee injury for six weeks.

Hurricanes assistant coach Alama Ieremia said Bateman's experience would be an important addition to the team when they take on the Crusaders in round seven of the Super 15.

"His on-field leadership will certainly help the team this weekend. Tim's worked hard at getting himself ready and he's excited to be back in the line-up.''

Bateman slots into a backline that is largely unchanged from the Hurricanes encounter with the Highlanders last week, with fullback Andre Taylor also claiming a spot in the starting XV.

No 8 Blade Thomson returns to the starting line-up following an injury spell last week, while lock James Broadhurst retains his position after a strong performance last week.

Cory Jane was unavailable for selection due to an ankle injury.

The Hurricanes team to face the Crusaders at AMI Stadium in Christchurch this Friday night:

Andre Taylor, Alapati Leiua, Conrad Smith (c), Tim Bateman, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Blade Thomson, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, James Broadhurst, Jeremy Thrush, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles, Ben Franks. Reserves: Ash Dixon, Chris Eves, John Schwalger, Mark Reddish, Ardie Savea, Billy Guyton, Matt Proctor, Marty Banks.

- APNZ

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