Dane Coles Laces Up for Hurricanes Clash Against the Fijian Drua

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Coles will look to add to 128 caps for the Hurricanes, making his first appearance for the 2022 DHL Super Rugby season after sustaining a hamstring injury during the All Blacks Northern Tour.

 

“We’re thrilled to have Colesy in the 23 this week. We’ve taken it slowly with him to make sure he’s 100% when he comes back, and he’s absolutely flying around the place now,” said Holland.

 

"There are some obvious things with Colesy, about what he’ll bring in creating a bit of edge around the group and the way he leads, which is great for our boys. He’s dying to play and dying to contribute.”

 

Manawatū Turbos loose forward Tyler Laubscher is one of three debutants named in Holland’s side and will start at number eight, while exciting midfielder Riley Higgins looks to debut off the bench. At 19 years of age, Higgins will become one of the youngest in Hurricanes history.  

“Tyler has been around our environment for a couple of years now but is coming in to debut after being out of the game for 18 months or so with long-term injury. He’s an athlete that we’ve been really excited about, but he hasn't been able to get out on the field. He’s a power athlete, quick and explosive, and he’s worked hard to get here through his rehab.”

 

“Riley has come through the academy system and is a good strong midfielder who we’ve got a lot of time for. Just like many young players, you wait for your time, and work away behind the scenes and now he’s got to that stage. He’s worked really hard, and the opportunity has popped up, and we’re sure he will take it,” said Holland.

 

All Blacks Centurian Owen Franks will also make his Hurricanes debut, after months off the grass due to a torn Achilles.

 

“Owen is an awesome story. He’s one of the most driven and professional athletes I’ve ever seen in operation. To get back to where he is now after all the setbacks with his body has been unbelievable to watch. He’s desperate to play and desperate to contribute and we are stoked for him that he gets to play after how hard he has worked,” said Holland.

With All Blacks Ardie Savea and Jordie Barrett taking a rest week, TJ Perenara will call the shots from the base of the scrum and will captain the side in Savea’s absence. 

 

The Hurricanes will take on the Fijian Drua at Sky Stadium, Sunday, 8 May at 3:35PM. Adults can secure tickets from $20, and kids go free with a paying adult. The match will be televised live on Sky Sport.

 

Hurricanes team to face the Fijian Drua:   

1. Xavier Numia   

2. Asafo Aumua  

3. Tyrel Lomax  

4. Isaia Walker-Leawere  

5. Justin Sangster  

6. Blake Gibson  

7. Du’Plessis Kirifi  

8. Tyler Laubscher * 

9. TJ Perenara (c) 

10. Aidan Morgan  

11. Salesi Rayasi  

12. Billy Proctor  

13. Bailyn Sullivan  

14. Wes Goosen  

15. Josh Moorby  

 

REPLACEMENTS:   

16. Dane Coles  

17. Tevita Mafileo  

18. Owen Franks * 

19. Caleb Delany  

20. TK Howden  

21. Cameron Roigard  

22. Jackson Garden-Bachop  

23. Riley Higgins * 

* Denotes debut

 

Unavailable for selection: Devan Flanders, Ruben Love, Brayden Iose, Reed Prinsep, Pepesana Patafilo, Teihorangi Walden, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Julian Savea, James Blackwell 

Unavailable due to All Blacks rest week: Ardie Savea, Jordie Barrett

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