Savea given rest for Hurricanes

Julian Savea will miss Friday's clash with the Kings. Photo / Getty
Julian Savea will miss Friday's clash with the Kings. Photo / Getty

The Kings, yet to win this season and unlikely to in the near future, will be at least spared the sight of charging All Blacks wing Julian Savea at Westpac Stadium on Friday.

Coach Chris Boyd has decided to rest the 106kg wing, one of three changes to the starting XV which thrashed the Force 41-6 in Palmerston North last weekend.

Jason Woodward replaces Savea, with centre Willis Halaholo coming on for Vince Aso - who is on the reserves bench - and Michael Fatialofa starting at lock. Fatialofa comes in for Blade Thomson, who shifts to No8 in place of Victor Vito who has a calf strain.

"All three of those guys who have come in will be looking put their hand up and this gives them an opportunity to do that," Boyd said. "We are very lucky with the depth we have in a number of positions and particularly in the outside backs.

"This is an important match for us. We've got some good momentum from our last two matches and we want to carry that on into the bye week with a good performance in front of our home fans."

There are also a number of changes to the reserves where utility back Matt Proctor returns from a knee injury and halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and lock Geoff Cridge make their first appearances of the season.

Tahuriorangi has played a limited role in the opening weeks of the season after battling a leg infection picked up during the preseason, while Cridge has recently returned to the field after recovering from a shoulder injury.

In the final change, prop Loni Uhila comes back into the squad for Reggie Goodes, who took a head knock against the Force.

Friday's match against the Kings will be the Hurricanes first at Westpac Stadium in 2016 after playing in Canberra, Dunedin, Auckland and Palmerston North in the opening month.

The Hurricanes have played the Kings on only one previous occasion, emerging 46-30 winners on an entertaining afternoon in Wellington in 2013.

Hurricanes team to play the Southern Kings at Westpac Stadium on Friday is:
15 James Marshall
14 Cory Jane
13 Willis Halaholo
12 Ngani Laumape
11 Jason Woodward
10 Beauden Barrett
9 TJ Perenara (vc)
8 Blade Thomson
7 Ardie Savea
6 Vaea Fifita
5 Mark Abbott
4 Michael Fatialofa
3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen
2 Dane Coles (c)
1 Chris Eves
Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli, Loni Uhila, Ben May, Geoff Cridge, Callum Gibbins, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor.

- NZ Herald

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