Highly respected loose forward Reed Prinsep will captain the Hurricanes in their third round Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash against the Force at Napier’s McLean Park on Friday night.
Prinsep has been a constant in the Hurricanes loose forwards over a long period of time with his impressive work rate and decision making part of his leadership qualities.
The 28-year-old takes over the captaincy from Dane Coles who has been given the week off as Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland continues to utilise the squad and create competition for positions.
Dynamic hooker Asafo Aumua takes over the No 2 jersey in one of a number of changes to the forward pack which helped beat the Rebels at Sky Stadium last round.
Impressive lock Isaia Walker-Leawere comes into the second row while the experience of utility loose forward Gareth Evans will be used in the run-on side after he returned to action off the bench against the Rebels.
Halfback Luke Campbell also returns to the starting XV while Orbyn Leger will again start at first five-eighth after Ruben Love was unavailable due to a shoulder injury that wasn’t 100% ready for this match.
There are also changes in the midfield and outside backs with Salesi Rayasi returning to the left wing and Peter Umaga-Jensen partnering Ngani Laumape in the centres.
Holland has also mixed up the bench which sees the exciting return of club captain Ardie Savea following his knee injury during Super Rugby Aotearoa.
“There will obviously be some focus on Ardie’s return, which is great for us, but the squad as a whole are really looking forward to trying to improve week by week, which is our major focus” Holland said.
“The competition has brought some real energy to everyone and we see that in our preparation. We’re also looking forward to mixing with our great fans in the Hawke’s Bay where we have really enjoyed great support and had some fantastic games over the last few years.”
Kick-off at McLean Park is 7.05pm.
The Hurricanes squad to face the Force is:
1 XAVIER NUMIA
2 ASAFO AUMUA
3 TYREL LOMAX
4 ISAIA WALKER-LEAWERE
5 SCOTT SCRAFTON
6 REED PRINSEP©
7 DU’PLESSIS KIRIFI
8 GARETH EVANS
9 LUKE CAMPBELL
10 ORBYN LEGER
11 SALESI RAYASI
12 NGANI LAUMAPE
13 PETER UMAGA-JENSEN
14 WES GOOSEN
15 JORDIE BARRETT
16. RICKY RICCITELLI
17. POURI RAKETE-STONES
18. ALEX FIDOW
19. JAMES BLACKWELL
20. ARDIE SAVEA
21. CAM ROIGARD
22. BILLY PROCTOR
23. VINCE ASO