Jeremy Thrush to lead the Hurricanes

Getty Images     28 Jun 2014     Getty Images

Statistics suggest a close encounter is on the cards, with both teams averaging 29 points per game. The Hurricanes have managed to score 407 points in 14 matches, while the Crusaders have generated 381 points in 13 fixtures.

With the Hurricanes trailing the New Zealand conference leaders by four points, the match is a must-win for the home side, who also have one less match in hand compared with their Kiwi counterparts.

An injury to captain Conrad Smith has forced Mark Hammett to make one change to his most recent backline, with Tim Bateman coming in to fill Smith’s spot at centre. Blade Thomson also enters the starting line-up, while Brad Shields comes into the back row for an injured Faifili Levave.

Jeremy Thrush has been given the captaincy reins in Smith’s absence.

The team to face the Crusaders on June 28 at 7.35pm is;

1. Ben Franks
2. Dane Coles
3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
4. Jeremy Thrush (c)
5. Blade Thomson
6. Brad Shields
7. Ardie Savea
8. Victor Vito
9. TJ Perenara
10. Beauden Barrett
11. Julian Savea
12. Alapati Leiua
13. Tim Bateman
14. Cory Jane
15. Matt Proctor


16. Motu Matu’u/Reggie Goodes
17. Chris Eves
18. Reggie Goodes/Brendon Edmonds
19. James Broadhurst
20. Jack Lam
21. Chris Smylie
22. Hadleigh Parkes
23. James Marshall