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Milner-Skudder makes Hurricanes return

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/06/2017

Nehe Milner-Skudder will make his long-awaited return to rugby when the Hurricanes play the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has made six changes to the team that beat the Bulls 34-20 in Pretoria - three in the backs and three in the forwards.

However, it is Milner-Skudder's presence in the reserves that stands out.

The mercurial outside back has not played since breaking two bones in his foot against the Chiefs in Hamilton back in early March.

"It's great to have Nehe back in the mix," Boyd said.

"I know he's worked extremely hard during his rehab and he can't wait to pull on the Hurricanes jersey and get back into the campaign."

The outside back isn't the only player returning in Perth, with first five-eighth Beauden Barrett back in the No.10 jersey after being withdrawn from the Hurricanes match against the Bulls as a precaution after reporting headaches.

Boyd said Barrett passed his concussion protocols and satisfied the medical team he was symptom-free and ready to play.

Barrett takes over from Otere Black in running a backline that includes Cory Jane on the right wing in place of the injured Wes Goosen (shoulder) and Ben Lam on the left for Julian Savea, who now looks set to play his 100th match for the Hurricanes against the Chiefs in Wellington next Friday.

In the forwards Callum Gibbins replaces Ardie Savea at openside, Reed Prinsep starts at blindside, and Ben May takes over at tight head prop from Jeff To'omaga-Allen.

Prinsep's return to the starting team pushes Vaea Fifita back to lock.

Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett, Cory Jane, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (captain), Brad Shields, Callum Gibbins, Reed Prinsep, Vaea Fifita, Sam Lousi, Ben May, Ricky Riccitelli, Loni Uhila. Reserves: Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Mark Abbott, Ardie Savea, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Otere Black, Nehe Milner-Skudder.

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