All Blacks Cory Jane and Victor Vito are set to return to the Hurricanes' line-up for their must-win Super Rugby showdown with the Chiefs in Wellington on Friday night.
In the final round of the regular season the Hurricanes need to pick up a bonus-point victory and hope other results fall their way so they can make the knockout stages of the competition, while the Chiefs will be looking to lock up top spot on the ladder.
Vito has recovered from a knee ailment, which forces young tyro Brad Shields to the bench, and Jane has been bracketed to start on the right wing with Alapati Leiua, providing the veteran's ankle comes through training this week.
Hawkes Bay's Chris Eaton has been bracketed with Frae Wilson at halfback, with Jamie Nutbrown a possibility for the bench; Eaton is nursing a tight hamstring but is expected to play.
The clash with the Chiefs will bring up the milestone of 50 Super Rugby caps for three of the home side - Faifili Levave (Chiefs 12, Hurricanes 37), Tim Bateman (Crusaders 35, Hurricanes 14) and Ben May (Crusaders 2, Chiefs 33, Hurricanes 14).
Friday night's game will also have special significance for injured player, Seti Tafua. The former Poneke club player from Wellington suffered a serious back injury playing rugby in Australia two weeks ago, and the Hurricanes will hold a bucket collection at the gates on Friday to help raise money to support his recovery.
Hurricanes: Andre Taylor, Cory Jane/Alapati Leiua, Conrad Smith, Tim Bateman, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Chris Eaton/Frae Wilson, Victor Vito, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush, Ben May, Dane Coles, Reg Goodes. Reserves: Motu Matu'u, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, James Broadhurst, Brad Shields, Frae Wilson/Jamie Nutbrown, Tusi Pisi, Jayden Hayward
- APNZBy Daniel Richardson @danrichardson21 Email Daniel