The Hurricanes have made four changes for Saturday’s match against the Lions in Wellington.
The return of Ngani Laumape from a week’s break has seen the in-form Vince Aso drop out of the 23-man squad, a decision coach Chris Boyd found difficult given just how well the versatile back has been playing.
However, Boyd stressed that Aso would be back in the mix as the Hurricanes negotiate a difficult few weeks before the international playing window.
Laumape’s return is the only change in the backs, but there have been three made up front where tighthead prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen swaps places with Ben May.
There has been a similar switch in the loose forwards where Gareth Evans comes in for Reed Prinsep, while Vaea Fifita returns to the second row after a week off.
The only other alteration to the match 23 comes in the reserves, with Ihaia West coming in for Jackson Garden-Bachop.
Nehe Milner-Skudder, who made a welcome return to rugby in the last quarter of the Sunwolves match, will again come off the bench.
Hurricanes – 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith.
Subs: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Nehe Milner-Skudder.
Photo: Kerry Marshall/Getty Images