Rugby: Hurricanes name Beauden Barrett at fullback

Beauden Barrett will play fullback against the Cheetahs. Photosport
Beauden Barrett will play fullback against the Cheetahs. Photosport

Beauden Barrett will start at fullback and Otere Black at first five in a reshuffled Hurricanes team named to play the Cheetahs at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has made four personnel changes to the team that started against the Crusaders with lock Sam Lousi set to make his starting debut in the second row.

Black will make his second start of the season in the No.10 jersey, Wes Goosen replaces Cory Jane on the right wing, and Ben May returns at loose head prop for Chris Eves.

While Black started at first-five in the season opener against the Sunwolves in Tokyo, Barrett has worn the No.10 jersey in the last nine matches.

Barrett's move back to fullback allows younger brother Jordie to have a well-earned spell on the bench in his first season of Super Rugby. Jordie Barrett has appeared in every match in 2017 and started the past seven.

Lousi will make his fourth appearance of the campaign, but just his first start since joining the club from the Waratahs this year.

He will partner fellow Tongan Vaea Fifita in the second row with Mark Abbott taking a break on the bench after starting the past eight matches.

In the front row May makes his fifth start at loose head prop. Eves drops out of the match day 23 for the first time in 2017 with Mike Kainga returning to the reserves.

Out on the wing, Goosen makes his third start in the No.14 jersey with Jane dropping out of the match day 23 and Ben Lam coming onto a reserves bench that also features the return of loose forward Callum Gibbins from a shoulder injury.

With a tough tour to South Africa and Perth coming up, Boyd said it was important to manage some of his player's workloads.

"We have some guys who have shouldered a particularly big load through the first ten matches, and other guys who, through injury have not had a lot of time."

Boyd said the changes were not an indication of taking the Cheetahs lightly.

"The Cheetahs are a particularly dangerous team that can score tries from anywhere and also have a big forward pack up front. We know they will bring a lot to the match."

In fact, the Cheetahs have averaged 31 points in their past three matches against the Crusaders, Highlanders and Blues.

It was only five years ago that the Cheetahs rocked the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium with a 47-38 win that effectively cost the home team's chances of making the 2012 playoffs.

The Cheetahs have won just two of their eleven matches this season with their wins coming against the Bulls and Sunwolves.

Saturday's match will be the eleventh time the Hurricanes have played the Cheetahs with their record standing at 7 wins and three losses.

The Hurricanes team to play the Cheetahs at Westpac Stadium on Saturday, May 20 is:
15 Beauden Barrett
14 Wes Goosen
13 Vince Aso
12 Ngani Laumape
11 Julian Savea
10 Otere Black
9 TJ Perenara (c)
8 Brad Shields
7 Ardie Savea
6 Reed Prinsep
5 Vaea Fifita
4 Sam Lousi
3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen
2 Ricky Riccitelli
1 Ben May

Reserves:

16 Leni Apisai
17 Mike Kainga
18 Loni Uhila
19 Mark Abbott
20 Callum Gibbins
21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
22 Jordie Barrett
23 Ben Lam

- NZ Herald

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