Hurricanes first-five Beauden Barrett will take over the captaincy for Saturday’s Super Rugby match against the Stormers in Wellington.
Barrett, who has made 116 appearances for the Hurricanes and scored more than 1150 points, will have younger brother Jordie immediately outside him after the latter was named to start in the number 12 jersey.
Last year’s top try-scorer Ben Lam returns on the left wing which sees Wes Goosen move to the right from last week’s match against the Chiefs.
There will be a first start for Richard Judd at scrum-half for what will be his fifth appearance for the Hurricanes since making his debut against the Crusaders last year.
Three changes have been made in the forwards with Liam Mitchell returning at lock while Vaea Fifita moves back to the side of the scrum.
The other changes up front are at hooker where Ricky Riccitelli returns to the starting side in place of Dane Coles, who is unavailable for the match along with TJ Perenara and Ngani Laumape, while Fraser Armstrong comes in for Toby Smith who has an ankle injury.
There is a fresh look to the bench with Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree returning experienced prop Jeff To’omaga-Allen to the matchday squad along with lock Isaia Walker-Leawere and utility back Fletcher Smith.
2018 Hurricanes squad member James O’Reilly has also been named on the bench with Asafo Aumua unavailable due to concussion.
Exciting Hawke’s Bay midfielder Danny Toala could make his Hurricanes debut if he comes off the bench.
“As we have said all year we are looking to trust the depth of our squad and give players opportunities and Saturday’s match against the Stormers will provide that,” said Plumtree.
“The Stormers have built a good record so far this season and we know exactly how tough and direct they will be and that means we are going to have to play really well to maintain our proud home record.”
The Hurricanes have played the Stormers 18 times in Super rugby since 1998 and the Hurricanes have won 8 matches and lost 10.
Those 8 Super rugby victories give the Hurricanes a record of winning 44% of their matches against the Stormers.
This weekend the match will be played in Wellington where the teams have met six times. In those six Super rugby matches the Hurricanes have won four and lost two.
The Hurricanes four Super rugby victories in Wellington give them a record of winning 67% of their matches against the Stormers.
The average score when the Hurricanes play the Stormers in Wellington is: Hurricanes 28 Stormers 20.
Although the Hurricanes have only won two thirds of their matches against the Stormers at home in Wellington they have won the last four of these matches.
The last time the Stormers won in Wellington was in 2001.
Average score: Hurricanes 23 Stormers 25
Last five results
Fri, 05 May 2017 Hurricanes 41-22 Stormers @Wellington
Fri, 03 Apr 2015 Hurricanes 25-20 Stormers @Wellington
Fri, 28 Feb 2014 Stormers 19-18 Hurricanes @Cape Town
Fri, 26 Apr 2013 Hurricanes 16-18 Stormers @Palmerston North
Sat, 25 Feb 2012 Stormers 39-26 Hurricanes @Cape Town
Hurricanes overall record against the Stormers
Played 18 , Wins 8 , Losses 10, Draws 0
15 Chase Tiatia ,14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett (c), 9 Richard Judd, 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Fraser Armstrong
Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Sam Henwood, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Danny Toala
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chrisvan Zyl, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Dan du Plessis, 23 Damian Willemse
Match Officials and details
Date : Saturday 23 March
Venue : Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick Off local: 19:35
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1:Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2:Ben O’Keeffe
TMO : Glenn Newman