The Waratahs, who briefly had the title of Australia’s most anticipated Super Rugby team, are once again embracing their status as underdogs as they get ready to play the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday.
The contest will start a challenging stretch of games against three of the top four teams, including a home game against the Chiefs after their road game on Friday and a journey to Canberra to play the Brumbies before a bye week.
The Hurricanes have made three changes to their starting XV ahead of Friday night’s blockbuster against the NSW Waratahs at Sky Stadium.
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Ardie Savea, the captain of the Hurricanes, will start the game on Friday after serving a one-game suspension for making a throat-slitting gesture in the Super Round against the Rebels.
Savea received a citation for the incident a fortnight ago and was therefore suspended from last weekend’s New Zealand derby matchup in Wellington versus the Blues.
Before to their thrilling matchup against the NSW Waratahs on Friday night at Sky Stadium, the Hurricanes have made three changes to their starting XV.
Hurricanes: 15 Josh Moorby, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Kini Naholo, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 Cameron Roigard, 8 Ardie Savea (c), 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Pasilio Tosi, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Braydon Iose, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Aidan Morgan, 23 Bailyn Sulivan
Waratahs: 15 Max Jorgensen, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Ben Donaldson, 9 Jake Gordon (c), 8 Langi Gleeson, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Charlie Gamble, 5 Taleni Seu, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Mahe Vailanu, 1 Tom Lambert
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Sateki Latu, 18 Dan Botha, 19 Lachie Swinton, 20 Will Harris, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Tane Edmed, 23 Mosese Tuipulotu