Rugby: Jane returns but Coles still out for Canes

By Campbell Burnes

Cory Jane takes on the Waratahs tomorrow night in his first game since round one six weeks ago. Photo / Getty Images
Cory Jane takes on the Waratahs tomorrow night in his first game since round one six weeks ago. Photo / Getty Images

Cory Jane is in, but Dane Coles is still out. Jane finally takes his place on the right wing for the Hurricanes as they size up the Waratahs tomorrow night.

The former All Black has been suffering from a neck problem since the trip to Tokyo in round one, and now has big boots to fill, replacing Super Rugby's leading try scorer Vince Aso, who slips into the No 23 jersey.

Coles is hampered by a niggly knee. Earlier in the week, it was indicated he was on target to return but instead Ricky Riccitelli remains in the No 2 jersey, meaning TJ Perenara will again wear the captain's armband and have free rein to talk to South African referee Marius van der Westhuizen on the law book.

Ben May comes into loosehead prop for Chris Eves, while Reed Prinsep returns to the starting XV in place of Ardie Savea. His older brother Julian is rested for the first time, giving way for Wes Goosen on the left wing.

Some might say that is a hospital pass for Goosen, who must try and contain 123kg Taqele Naiyaravoro, who reduced George Bridge to roadkill on the way to a try in last Sunday's 22-41 defeat by the Crusaders.

Sam Lousi drops out of the reserves and in comes Taranaki No8 Toa Halafihi, who may well make his debut. Vaea Fifita is also on the bench, having been out since the Brisbane Tens with an ankle injury.

"If you look at Julian and Vince, they've both started all five matches so far, so it's a chance for them to freshen up, but equally it gives Cory and Wes an opportunity," says Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd.

"We have faith in the depth in our squad, so whoever runs out there, we're confident they'll do the job. It's a long season and you need to utilise your whole squad."

The Hurricanes remain third in the tight New Zealand conference, while the 2-4 Waratahs are second in the weak Australian conference.

For all their travails in 2017, the Waratahs have named a 23 with plenty of big names, though lock Will Skelton has just announced he is off to European and English champions Saracens at the end of the Super campaign.

Israel Folau drops back to fullback, where he should be better able to ignite the spluttering Waratahs' attack.

The big news is the return of Wallaby pivot Bernard Foley after battling, like Jane, a neck issue. He should be able to provide some direction. Rob Horne slots back into centre.

- NZ Herald

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