Canes add another Savea
19-year-old Ardie Savea will make his long-awaited Super Rugby debut for the Hurricanes against the Waratahs on Saturday.
The Wellington-born loose forward - the younger brother of All Black winger Julian - impressed many in his first ITM Cup season and now gets a chance to pull on the 'Canes jersey, following three matches for the Development side.
This week's changes to the starting XV include hooker Motu Matu'u who comes in for the injured Dane Coles, who sprained the ligaments in his thumb against the Kings.
Mark Reddish comes in for Jeremy Thrush, who has an ankle injury, with James Broadhurst on the bench. Karl Lowe is in Hawke's Bay and is unavailable for selection this week.
Three players have been bracketed and will be assessed after further training this week - Victor Vito (calf), Ash Dixon (shoulder) and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (sternum). If Faifili Levave is required to start, Jack Lam will join on the bench for the first time since returning from his knee injury.
This Saturday could be a memorable occasion for Chris Smylie who is set to make his 50th Super Rugby appearance off the bench.
The history books show very little separates these sides. The Hurricanes have nine wins over the visitor's eight, with no draws to date. Despite one less win, the Waratahs are ahead on both tries and points scored.
The Hurricanes have a total of 393 points against the Waratahs and 46 tries, meanwhile the Australian side have accumulated 409 points and 50 tries.
Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua , 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara , 8 Victor Vito / Faifili Levave, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Mark Reddish, 3 Ben May, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon / Reggie Goodes, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen / Reggie Goodes, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Faifili Levave / Jack Lam, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Tusi Pisi, 22 Reynold Lee-Lo.
Date: Saturday, April 6
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)