Hurricanes after improved defensive effort against Rebels

GettyImages 1317963395

They will also be boosted by the return of experienced players second five-eighths Ngani Laumape, wing Wes Goosen and lock Scott Scrafton.


Head coach Jason Holland said it was good to have them back. They had played a lot of rugby for the side, and after a week off they were looking to them to provide some energy and drive on Friday.


First five-eighths Ruben Love was progressing well through his HIA protocols and was on target to return next week. Orbyn Leger will play again at first five-eighths.


Defence had been front and centre for the side in the wake of conceding 48 points to the Waratahs in their opening game. It had been disappointing and unacceptable, Holland said.


"We've worked hard at that and the boys will rectify that, I'm sure, on Friday night."


There was also concern with their exit plays, and Holland felt there was some confusion about whether their options were to run or kick.


The Rebels were tryless in their 3-50 loss to the Blues, Holland said. However, they had been in the game for the first 40-50 minutes.  Because they were a physical side on both sides of the ball, the Hurricanes would need to play to their strengths to prevent the Rebels from getting into the game.

Holland has partnered Billy Proctor in the midfield with Laumape, while Jonathan Taumateine will start at halfback. Hawke's Bay wing Lolagi Visinia will debut if taking the field from the bench. Experienced loose forward Gareth Evans returns after a lengthy spell off with an injury.


"At the end of Super Rugby Aotearoa, we made it clear to the squad that there will be opportunities for players to show what they can do, and we are determined to create plenty of competition for positions as we work through the coming weeks, he said.


Proctor said it had been frustrating conceding so many points to the Waratahs, but they hadn't been able to execute what they wanted, and the Waratahs had been able to take advantage.


The Rebels would be different, as they were a big team who liked to carry hard and play with flair.


The Hurricanes take on the Rebels at 7.05pm NZT on Friday 21 May. Get your tickets HERE.


View all