Beauden Barrett has known for a month that he would not be named as the Hurricanes starting' first five-eighth for their season opener against the Bulls this weekend.

The World Rugby Player of the Year sacrificed his claim to the No.10 jersey for round one so he could travel to Taranaki last weekend to attend the wedding of his older brother, Kane, and that of a friend from high school.

"That decision was decided about a month ago," Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said. "We had a look at his year and decided that the best thing for him if he wasn't able to play in the Blues game because of his preparation for his brothers' and his mates wedding, that he would join us in Africa a couple of days late and on that basis he wouldn't start.

"That was agreed some time ago, end of discussion."


An awesome few days in #Taradise celebrating two special couples tying the knot!

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As a result, Ihaia West has been given the nod at No.10 for the side's clash against the Bulls at Loftus Road on Sunday morning.

West, who joined the club from the Blues last season, has had an impressive preseason with the side.

Former Blues first five-eighth will start in the No.10 jersey for the Hurricanes. Photo / Photosport
Former Blues first five-eighth will start in the No.10 jersey for the Hurricanes. Photo / Photosport

"We have very high expectations of his contribution to our team this year, and I think the role and the position that he'll assume for us is well suited to his skill set."

West will be one of three players guaranteed to make their regular season debut for the Wellington-based club.

Former Chiefs, Rebels and Wallabies prop Toby Smith has been named to start alongside Ben May, while Hawke's Bay No.8 Gareth Evans has been given the starting nod.

"It's very comforting going to Loftus and playing the Bulls knowing we have a couple of guys that are vastly experienced to start the game and then a couple of really exciting props that offer a lot for us off the bench in Chris Eves and Alex Fidow," Boyd said of the porp combinations.

The Hurricanes are out to make it four wins in a row against the Bulls, while Barrett will be in line to become the fourth player in the history of the competition to break the 1000 points barrier.

Hurricanes: 15 Matt Proctor, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Ihaia West, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith. Reserves 16 James O'Rielly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ben Lam.