Rugby: Hurricanes unchanged for Blues

Conrad Smith scores a last-second try in the Hurricanes round five win over the Blues. Photo / Greg Bowker
Conrad Smith scores a last-second try in the Hurricanes round five win over the Blues. Photo / Greg Bowker

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has named an unchanged starting lineup to take on the Blues in Wellington on Friday.

The only change in the squad is on the bench where promising loose forward Brad Shields returns from a shoulder injury and takes the place of Mark Reddish who injured his ribs in a tackle in the 33-14 defeat to the Chiefs.

The Hurricanes beat the Blues 26-25 at Eden Park in round five but have won only one of their last four games since and are fourth on the New Zealand conference.

The Blues, of course, have been dreadful with only one win all season and are rooted to the bottom of the New Zealand conference and the combined Super Rugby table.

Piri Weepu and Ma'a Nonu might return to Wellington for the first time since leaving the Hurricanes in controversial circumstances last season, although Nonu is struggling with a corked thigh.

Reddish, James Broadhurst (side strain), Tusi Pisi (calf), Daniel Kirkpatrick (hamstring), Tristan Moran (neck) and Chris Smylie (shoulder) were all unavailable for the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes team to face the Blues at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, on Friday (7.35pm): Andre Taylor, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith (c), Tim Bateman, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Karl Lowe, Faifili Levave, Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles, Ben May. Reserves: Motu Matu'u, Reg Goodes, Jack Lam, Brad Shields, Chris Eaton, Charlie Ngatai, Alapati Leiua.

- APNZ

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