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Perenara returns to Hurricanes squad for Blues match

Vice-captain TJ Perenara will make his comeback to the Hurricanes squad via the bench on Friday night against the Blues at Eden Park.

Perenara has been sidelined since early April after injuring his knee against the Sharks in the Investec Super Rugby match in Napier but has made excellent progress in his rehabilitation.

His inclusion is one of five changes to the match-day squad from the one that beat the Lions 28-19 at Westpac Stadium last Saturday.

The depth at lock has seen Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd rotate players within the squad with Sam Lousi starting in the second row with Michael Fatialofa moving to the bench.

Wing Vince Aso was originally named to start but has been withdrawn because of a wrist injury and replaced by Julian Savea.

Jordie Barrett, who was withdrawn from the Lions match after rolling his ankle, has recovered sufficiently to take his place on the bench.

Prop Ben May has recovered from illness after he was withdrawn late for the Lions match while Blade Thomson makes a welcome return to the squad.

Boyd said the squad was excited at the opportunity to head north to Eden Park for its first away match against a New Zealand club this season.

Kick-off at Eden Park is 7.35pm.

The Hurricanes squad to face the Blues is:

15 Nehe Milner-Skudder
14 Julian Savea
13 Matt Proctor
12 Ngani Laumape
11 Ben Lam
10 Beauden Barrett
9 Finlay Christie
8 Gareth Evans
7 Ardie Savea
6 Brad Shields (c)
5 Sam Lousi
4 Vaea Fifita
3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen
2 Ricky Riccitelli
1 Toby Smith


16 James O’Reilly
17 Chris Eves
18 Ben May
19 Michael Fatialofa
20 Blade Thomson
21 TJ Perenara
22 Ihaia West
23 Jordie Barrett



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