Coles starts for Canes, Savea benched

Hurricanes captain Dane Coles will start at hooker in Saturday's semi-final against the Lions.

Coles will make his first start since suffering a concussion against the Highlanders in round four, with the All Blacks hooker replacing Ricky Riccitelli.

Among the backs, the competition's leading try-scorer, Vince Aso, will reclaim his place at outside centre in a reshuffled backline, with Julian Savea moving to the bench at the expense of veteran Cory Jane.

Aso replaces Jordie Barrett at 13, with the latter moving back to fullback in place of Nehe Milner-Skudder. He moves to the right wing, with South African-born Wes Goosen claiming the No 11 jersey.

Meanwhile, Coles will become the 11th player to reach 100 caps for the Hurricanes after Andrew Hore, Cory Jane, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Rodney So'oialo, Jeremy Thrush, Neemia Tialata, Tana Umaga, Victor Vito and Savea.

Hurricanes – 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Mark Abbott, 3  Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben May.
Subs: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Julian Savea.

Super Rugby teams (Semi-finals)

Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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