Young Canes to face Force

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has named an inexperienced team for their pre-season opener against the Force in Gosford on Wednesday.

The Canes' All Blacks are all unavailable for this encounter and will only be up for selection in their second pre-season outing against the Blues on 13 February.

This prompted Boyd to hand eight players (Tony Lamborn, Loni Uhila, Michael Fatialofa, Hisa Sasagi, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, James Blackwell, Malo Tuitama and Peter Umaga-Jensen) their debut for a senior Super Rugby side, while former Blues centre Pita Ahki starts for his new franchise. 

Young flyhalf Otere Black, who made four Super Rugby appearances last year, gets another opportunity in the No 10 jersey in the absence of Beauden Barrett.

Meanwhile flank Brad Shields takes over the captaincy due to the unavailability of regular skipper Dane Coles and his duty TJ Perenara.

Force – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Albert Nikoro, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan (c).
Subs: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Rory Walton, 20 Ross Haylett-Petty, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Kane Koteka, 23 Ryan Louwrens, 24 Jono Lance, 25 Onehunga Havili, 26 Ammon Matuauto, 27 Semisi Masirewa, 28 Maalonga Konelio.

Hurricanes – 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Otere Black, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Tony Lamborn, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Reg Goodes.
Subs: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Loni Uhila, 18 Ben May, 19 Hisa Sasagi, 20 Chris Eves, 21 Michael Fatialofa, 22 James Blackwell, 23 Callum Gibbins, 24 Frae Wilson, 25 Malo Tuitama, 26 Peter Umaga-Jensen.

Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams