Bateman back for Canes

Tim Bateman will start at inside centre for the Hurricanes against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday.

Bateman missed his team's opening five matches with a knee injury received during training a week before the start of the Super Rugby season. His return alleviates a problem position for the Hurricanes with Hadleigh Parkes and Cardiff Vaega both struggling to nail the role.

In another change to the backline, Andre Taylor comes in at fullback in place of Marty Banks. 

Among the forwards, Blade Thomson returns at No 8 after missing the last match due to a neck injury, while Faifili Levave shifts to blindside flank with Jack Lam back to his preferred position of openside. Ardie Savea is on the bench.

Jeremy Thrush is back at lock after missing the last match for personal reasons and will partner James Broadhurst in the second row, with Mark Reddish moving to the reserves.

Wing Cory Jane was unavailable for selection due to an ankle injury.

Hurricanes – 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Subs: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Chris Eves, 18 John Schwalger, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt Proctor, 23 Marty Banks.

Super Rugby teams (Round 7)

Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt