The Hurricanes are full of stars.

Prop Chris Eves is not one of them, but he has offered full value for the franchise since 2014 and stands on the threshold of 50 Super Rugby caps ahead of tomorrow night's round six fixture with the Queensland Reds in Brisbane.

Eves may not be the first-choice loosehead, but Reggie Goodes' ongoing battle with concussion sees him win his fourth start out of five in 2017, and his 10th start in all. He can also play on both sides of the scrum, which makes him very valuable in a 23-man match-day squad.

"I think bringing up your 50 any time is exciting. It means a lot to me. I was happy just to get one. I was a club player who came down to Wellington to fill in for a day. Now 50 games later, I'm still here. It's pretty cool," says Eves.

Advertisement

He admits to being overwhelmed when he arrived at the Hurricanes and rubbed shoulders with captain Conrad Smith. All Blacks Ben Franks and John Schwalger were there too. But now he is a fixture.

Eves may get to mark Taniela Tupou in the second spell if the young Queensland bookend, who played his First XV rugby in Auckland, makes it onto the paddock.

In last season's Mitre 10 Cup, Eves made five starts in 10 games for the Manawatu Turbos, which followed four starts from 17 games for the Hurricanes. He is an astute signing by new North Harbour coach Tom Coventry for the Mitre 10 Cup, starting in August.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has no doubts about Eves' value to his team.

"He's been a good footballer for us. It would have taken a lot of people by surprise that he had played 50 games. He's got better and better, probably a late developer by his own admission, didn't start by the traditional route, but a very important part of our machine and a good man in the team," Boyd says.

The Reds have some good cattle, even without James Slipper and Quade Cooper, but it is fair to say the best days of the great George Smith, Scott Higginbotham and Stephen Moore are behind then.

They did, however, come perhaps closest of the embattled Australian sides to beating a New Zealand franchise this season, dominating the Crusaders for 40 minutes on March 11 before being unable to hold the fast-finishing visitors. That followed a defeat by the Western Force.

They do have good footballers. The likes of centre Samu Kerevi, and locks Kane Douglas and Rob Simmons should be respected. But it will not be enough. The Hurricanes would have to play poorly to lose this one, even allowing for the undeniable fact that the Reds are a stiffer proposition at home.

Reds: Karmichael Hunt, Chris Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi, Duncan Paia'aua, Eto Nabuli, Jake McIntyre, James Tuttle, Scott Higginbotham, George Smith, Adam Korczyk, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Sam Talakai, Stephen Moore (c), Markus Vanzati

Reserves: Andrew Ready, Kirwan Sanday, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Tui, Hendrik Tui, Nick Frisby, Hamish Stewart, Izaia Perese

Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (c), Ardie Savea, Callum Gibbins, Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa, Mark Abbott, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Chris Eves
Reserves: Leni Apisai, Ben May, Mike Kainga, Sam Lousi, Reed Prinsep, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Otere Black, Pita Ahki