Dane Coles will be a chance to play for the Hurricanes down the home stretch of the Super Rugby season, joining the side on their road trip to South Africa.

The All Blacks hooker has only played in five matches this season, with his most recent appearance a 56-minute stint in a draw against the Chiefs in mid-March.

Since then, Coles has been troubled by a calf injury and has remained unavailable for the Hurricanes.

However, he proved he was up to playing at the weekend when he turned out for Poneke in the Wellington club competition. He wasn't the only Hurricanes player to do so, with loose forward Gareth Evans also fronting at club level to prove his fitness after also being hampered by a calf issue.


"We have been patient with both players through their rehab and we think that is really going to benefit us at the back of this season," Hurricanes coach John Plumtree said.

The touring squad features a 16-forward, 11-back split and also sees the return of first five-eighth Beauden Barrett, who missed the Hurricanes loss to the Jaguares on Friday night due to the second of his All Black rest weeks.

"We were obviously disappointed with the result against the Jaguares after what had been a good four week period for us," Plumtree said.

"The next two matches are vital for us in South Africa as we push for a home quarterfinal but we know the size of the challenge against two quality sides who are also fighting really hard for places at the top of their conference."

The Highlanders also have their depth bolstered for important games ahead, with coach Aaron Maguer confirming that Liam Squire and Jackson Hemopo will be available for their final two matches.

Squire, who missed the Highlanders' two defeats in South Africa due to personal issues, also played club rugby this weekend, and Maguer said he was ready to play his first Super Rugby game of the season.

"Both of those guys [Squire and Hemopo] will be available for selection," said Maguer.

"It's great for Liam to get out there and have a run around and also connect with the community.


"He is a good space so he'll be available for selection."