Former All Black Julian Savea won't be making a return in the Hurricanes colours this weekend after missing out on the playing squad to face the Chiefs on Saturday.

Savea has joined his Hurricanes teammates in camp, following his return to the franchise. The last time the man nicknamed 'The Bus' played for them was in the 2018 semifinal against the Crusaders.

He spent the last two European rugby seasons with Toulon in the French Top 14, before departing in March.

The Hurricanes round out the season when they head to Dunedin next Saturday, the only other opportunity for Savea to run out for the side this year.


Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland says Savea was never in serious contention to play this weekend.

Julian Savea speaking to media today following a Hurricanes training session. Photo / Getty
Julian Savea speaking to media today following a Hurricanes training session. Photo / Getty

"Not at the moment. He's come in and been awesome for us this week, he's in great nick and really contributed – exactly what we knew he'd do – but there are boys who have been working really hard and probably deserve that opportunity at the moment. We'll see what happens in club footy this weekend."

Dane Coles will returns in the number two jersey against the Chiefs however, having recovered from a minor back twinge, with Asafo Aumua moving to the bench. Tyrel Lomax also returns to action after he too sat the last game out with an injury.

In the backline, Vince Aso starts at second-five, with Ngani Laumape forced to sit the rest of the competition out with a broken arm.

Kobus Van Wyk gets the nod for a spot on the wing, following Ben Lam's departure for France while Peter Umaga-Jensen gets his fourth start this year in the midfield after his superb performance against the Crusaders two weeks ago.

The Hurricanes need to take a bonus-point victory against the Chiefs to stay in the hunt for the Super Rugby Aotearoa title, and Holland is hoping their usual gameplan will suffice in getting that result.

"We want to play a good style of footy, an attacking style of footy, and hopefully that gets us what we want."

Hurricanes side to take on the Chiefs: Jordie Barrett, Kobus van Wyk, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Vince Aso, Wes Goosen, Jackson Garden-Bachop, TJ Perenara (cc), Ardie Savea, Du'Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Scott Scrafton, James Blackwell, Tyrel Lomax, Dane Coles (cc), Ben May.


Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Tevita Mafileo, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Kane Le'aupepe, Devan Flanders, Jamie Booth, Billy Proctor, Jonah Lowe