Ardie Savea gets another potentially-important chance to impress at No.8 in a Hurricanes team featuring two starting changes to face the Stormers in Wellington.

Regular openside flanker Savea returns to the base of the scrum on Friday following the season-ending shoulder injury suffered by Blade Thomson in the 56-21 defeat of the Brumbies in Napier two weeks ago.

Callum Gibbins is promoted to wear to No.7, with Reed Prinsep coming onto the reserves bench.

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara starts again after coming off the bench in Napier, swapping roles with Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.


Perenara also reclaims the captaincy from Brad Shields, with first-choice skipper Dane Coles sidelined for a seventh straight week by ongoing calf issues.

Savea is poised to have a consistent run at No.8 which could boost his stocks ahead of the Test series against the British and Irish Lions.