All Blacks stood down by Hurricanes for breaching team protocols

Julian Savea. Photo / Getty
Julian Savea. Photo / Getty

All Blacks Julian Savea, Cory Jane and Victor Vito are among five players dropped from the Hurricanes side to play the Reds on Saturday for breaching team protocol.

The trio, as well as Ardie Savea and reserve prop Chris Eves, were not considered for selection against the Reds after breaking the team's self-imposed curfew. The five players were late back to the team hotel on the Tuesday night before the side played the Sharks and have been stood down for one match.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said the players had made a poor decision and the matter had been dealt with internally.

"Though some people may not see staying out late as being particularly serious, the team set their standards very high this year and everyone bought into that at the start of the season," he said. "We have a great bunch of guys in the squad and this was an isolated incident, but there are certain lines in the sand and when those lines are crossed there are consequences.

"The players involved know they made a mistake and I'm pretty confident they will be motivated to make up for that when they become available for selection again next week."

It's not the first time Jane has been sanction for breaching team standards. Jane and fullback Israel Dagg, who was injured at the time, mixed sleeping pills and energy drinks three days before the All Blacks' 2011 World Cup quarter-final against Argentina.

Julian Savea was also dropped from the Hurricanes earlier this season for not meeting fitness standards.

Last week's episode came ahead of the disappointing 32-15 loss to the Sharks in Durban, a defeat which deflated a team which had risen to new heights the week before when beating the Lions 50-17 in Johannesburg.

The loss dropped the Hurricanes to fourth in the New Zealand conference and made the long trip home to New Zealand a sombre one, assistant coach Jason Holland said.

Many professional rugby teams have curfews in order to impose discipline but they are seen as especially important in South Africa due to the added security risk to players.

Wellington wing Wes Goosen will make his Super Rugby debut against the Reds in place of Julian Savea and Jason Woodward replaces Jane on the right wing. Matt Proctor returns at centre, Blade Thomson replaces Vito at No 8 and Callum Gibbins takes over at openside from Ardie Savea.

"We are looking forward to seeing Wes Goosen make his Hurricanes debut," Boyd said. "He's been knocking on the door since the pre-season and now he gets his chance. That's what Super Rugby is all about."

South African-born Goosen, a former New Zealand secondary schools representative out of Wellington College, has impressed for the Wellington Lions over the past two seasons both on the wing and at centre.

Hurricanes team to play the Reds at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday:
15 James Marshall
14 Jason Woodward
13 Matt Proctor
12 Vince Aso
11 Wes Goosen
10 Beauden Barrett
9 TJ Perenara (vc)
8 Blade Thomson
7 Callum Gibbins
6 Brad Shields
5 Michael Fatialofa
4 Vaea Fifita
3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen
2 Dane Coles (c)
1 Reggie Goodes
Reserves: Motu Matu'u, Lonu Uhila, Ben May, Mark Abbott, Tony Lamborn, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Ngani Laumape, Willis Halaholo.

Hurricanes' remaining fixtures

- NZ Herald

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