Canes expected to strengthen starting XV

The Hurricanes are set to include hooker Dane Coles and centre Vince Aso in their starting lineup for Saturday’s Super Rugby semi-final against the Lions at Ellis Park.

Coles made his return to action via the bench against the Brumbies after a four-month injury layoff, while Aso has been sidelined for the Hurricanes’ last two games due to a groin injury.

Both players made the trip to Johannesburg, with assistant coach John Plumtree all but confirming Coles’ participation at Ellis Park.

‘Boydy [head coach Chris Boyd] hasn’t named the side yet, but yeah, Dane is good to go. He’s got that old spark back and is pretty motivated obviously. There’s a good chance you’ll see him start,’ Plumtree told

If Coles does play, he’ll earn his 100th Super Rugby cap for the Hurricanes.

‘It’s a big game for the team and a big game for him this weekend, being his 100th,' Plumtree added.

Plumtree also hinted that Aso's potential return to the starting XV will mean Jordie Barrett can shift back to fullback, which will aide the Hurricanes' cause. 

'His long-kicking game in Johannesburg is going to be useful to us and his ability to diffuse that high-kicking game that we expect from Elton Jantjies and Ross Cronjé. So, for this game, we'll probably be more excited about him playing fullback.'

Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams