Follow all the Super Rugby Aotearoa action with the Blues hosting the Hurricanes at a sold-out Eden Park - including all of the build-up to the match from Sky Sport.

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The Hurricanes are out to spoil the Blues' party at Eden Park on Sunday, and their inside knowledge of the guest of honour may aid their cause.

With a sellout crowd of 43,000 expected to pack into Eden Park to see Beauden Barrett make his debut against his former team, expectation is beginning to grow for the Blues, who will be hoping that their impressive form before the coronavirus-enforced break continues with the addition of their star off-season signing.

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That star has aligned with a perfect schedule seeing his former side come to town to create an anticipated showdown on Sunday afternoon, but the Hurricanes believe they can use Barrett's eight seasons at the franchise to their advantage.

"There are little things we know around how Beaudy plays," says Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland.

"We've seen him play really well for the Hurricanes and we've seen him play really poorly for the Hurricanes at times, so we have an idea around how we can put him under pressure.

"The important thing is that we're really smart about how we approach that and it doesn't alter anything we do. We want to go out there and be physical and smart."

Barrett won't get to go up against his brother Jordie, who is still rehabbing an unstable shoulder, with the hope that he will be able to avoid surgery and return to the park shortly, but the Hurricanes have their own All Blacks standout to welcome back, with Ardie Savea named on the bench to make his return from knee surgery.

Holland says Savea will be given 20-30 minutes, and could come on at any of the loose forward positions.

"He's getting really close to being at full fitness, we'll never really know until he gets into the game, but it has always been our plan to ease him back in."

The Hurricanes have handed Jackson Garden-Bachop the start at first-five, edging out Fletcher Smith, while Holland plumped for Wes Goosen over Kobus van Wyk on the wing in another tight call.


Trips to Eden Park have been enjoyable for the Hurricanes of late – having won their last five matches at the venue – and Holland is hoping the stadium is packed out for their attempt to make it six on the trot.

"It's awesome – awesome for the game that that many people are keen to get back involved. Everyone's pumped – the more the merrier up there, it will be a great day."

But, if Holland has his way, the day might not end so merrily for the Blues.

Hurricanes: 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 TJ Perenara (cc), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du'Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles (cc), 1 Fraser Armstrong

Reserves: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Vaea Fifita, 21 Ardie Savea, 22 Jamie Booth, 23 Billy Proctor

Blues: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Celeb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu ©, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman.


Reserves: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Matt Duffie