With momentum high following the team’s 4th victory in their last 5 matches, Head Coach Jason Holland has named a side mixed with experience and youth to face the Force.
In the front row, Pouri Rakete-Stones makes a start at loosehead, alongside All Blacks’ Dane Coles and Tyrel Lomax following their return from a rest week.
Dominic Bird makes his second start of the season alongside James Blackwell at lock. Du’Plessis Kirifi and Devan Flanders flank Brayden Iose at eight, with TK Howden and Peter Lakai looking to provide impact off the bench.
The electric Bailyn Sullivan teams up with Jordie Barrett in the midfield, while Daniel Sinkinson prepares to make his Hurricanes debut on the wing opposite Salesi Rayasi.
Hawke’s Bay’s Harry Godfrey, 20, will make his first start of the season at fullback.
“Harry's quick, he loves to attack, and he's got a good skillset. He's already come off the bench a couple of games and has done a really good job. He really injects himself into the game, so gets a chance to start this week and use all his creative attacking ability.
“Sinky [Daniel Sinkinson] has been really impressive from the minute he stepped into our environment. It’s his first season in Super footy and from day one of preseason we knew he had an unbelievable work ethic.
“He’s tough and does a lot of good things, and he’s been busting for an opportunity, so I expect him to come in and slot straight into how we want him to play and do a good job,” said Holland.
On taking on the Western Force, Jason Holland said he was expecting a tough match.
“They always have massive intent and massive physicality, and I think with their coaching set up this year, they’re definitely playing a pretty good style of footy.
“I expect them to really challenge us when they've got the ball, with some shapes and some variation in the game, I expect them to be tough, so we will have to be right on our game to put them away in Palmy,” said Holland.
The Hurricanes take on the Western Force at 3:35PM at CET Arena, Palmerston North on Sunday, 2 April. Tickets available at https://hurricanes.flicket.co.nz/
Hurricanes named to take on the Western Force:
1. Pouri Rakete-Stones
2. Dane Coles ©
3. Tyrel Lomax
4. James Blackwell
5. Dominic Bird
6. Devan Flanders
7. Du’Plessis Kirifi
8. Brayden Iose
9. Jamie Booth
10. Brett Cameron
11. Salesi Rayasi
12. Jordie Barrett
13. Bailyn Sullivan
14. Daniel Sinkinson *
15. Harry Godfrey
16. Hame Faiva
17. Tevita Mafileo
18. Owen Franks
19. TK Howden
20. Peter Lakai
21. Cameron Roigard
22. Riley Higgins
23. Kini Naholo