Rugby: Savea to make debut

Ardie Savea. Photo / Getty Images
Ardie Savea. Photo / Getty Images

Flanker Ardie Savea will make his long-awaited Super Rugby debut for the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Savea, an exciting prospect after impressing for Wellington in last season's ITM Cup, saw his progress stall due to a suspension for a lifting tackle during Super Rugby pre-season, but the 19-year-old has been given the No7 jersey to play the Waratahs.

Savea, who will play alongside brother Julian, a wing, in Wellington, comes in for Karl Lowe, who the Hurricanes said was unavailable without detailing why. Savea's suspension ended last weekend but he played for the Hurricanes development team rather than in the victory over the Southern Kings.

Moto Matu'u replaces Dane Coles (thumb sprain) at hooker, with lock Mark Reddish in for Jeremy Thrush (ankle). Three players have been bracketed and will be assessed after training - No8 Victor Vito (calf), hooker Ash Dixon (shoulder) and prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (sternum). If loose forward Faifili Levave is required to start, Jack Lam will be on the reserves bench for the first time since returning from a knee injury.

Reserve halfback Chris Smylie will make his 50th appearance at this level if he takes the field.

The Hurricanes team to play the Waratahs at Westpac Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 7.35pm, is: Andre Taylor, Alapati Leiua, Conrad Smith (c), Tim Bateman, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Parenara, Victor Vito/Faifili Levave, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Jason Eaton, Mark Reddish, Ben May, Motu Matu'u, Ben Franks. Reserves: Ash Dixon/Reggie Goodes, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen/Reggie Goodes, James Broadhurst, Faifili Levave/Jack Lam, Chris Smylie, Tusi Pisi, Reynold Lee-Lo.

- APNZ

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