Rugby: Barrett set to bring up half-century

First five-eighth Beauden Barrett will mark his 50th match for the Hurricanes on Saturday when he meets the Blues at Eden Park. Photo / Getty Images.
First five-eighth Beauden Barrett will mark his 50th match for the Hurricanes on Saturday when he meets the Blues at Eden Park. Photo / Getty Images.

First five-eighth Beauden Barrett will mark his 50th match for the Hurricanes on Saturday when he meets the Blues at Eden Park.

Barrett has strong links to the franchise after his father Kevin played for them for two seasons in the late 1990s.

"I grew up watching this team - I watched my dad be a part of it - so to reach 50 games for the Canes is a pretty special moment for me," Barrett said.

Coach Mark Hammett has again named a similar side to that which has played the bulk of the season, with the only changes being injury-related from the side that defeated the Chiefs 45-8 in Wellington last Saturday.

Matt Proctor will start at fullback in place of Andre Taylor (ankle), while Ben Franks' groin injury is still being monitored.

Replacement hookers Ash Dixon and Motu Matu'u are also both in question, which means a collection of players have been bracketed on the bench.

Reggie Goodes is the first-choice to cover the possibility of both Franks and the hookers being unavailable, with Mike Kainga and Brendon Edmonds named as cover if required.
The Hurricanes are firmly in the playoff picture but need another win this weekend to consolidate their spot in the top six on the Super Rugby ladder.

Hurricanes: Matt Proctor, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith (captain), Alapati Leiua, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, James Broadhurst, Jeremy Thrush, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles, Ben Franks/Reggie Goodes. Reserves: Ash Dixon/Motu Matu'u/Reggie Goodes/Mike Kainga, Chris Eves, Reggie Goodes/Brendon Edmonds, Brad Shields, Ardie Savea, Chris Smylie, Tim Bateman, James Marshall.

- APNZ

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