Rugby: Thrush to skipper Hurricanes

Hurricanes Jeremy Thrush. Photo / Ross Setford.
Hurricanes Jeremy Thrush. Photo / Ross Setford.

Jeremy Thrush will captain the Hurricanes this weekend in Conrad Smith's absence.

Smith broke his thumb during the All Blacks' second test against England in Dunedin two weeks ago, so veteran lock Thrush will fill the void when the Hurricanes host the Crusaders at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night. Tim Bateman will fill-in at centre for Smith.

Openside flanker Ardie Savea has been given a start, while Brad Shields fills the No 6 jersey as Faifili Levave is injured.

This week's match is a must-win for the sixth-placed Hurricanes who are trying to keep their Super Rugby playoff hopes alive.

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

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