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Savea lines up for 100th Hurricanes game

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/06/2017
Julian Savea © Getty Julian Savea

Wing Julian Savea will start his 100th Super Rugby match for the Hurricanes in their Super Rugby match against the Chiefs at Westpac Stadium on Friday.

Savea returns to the left wing in place of Ben Lam as one of six changes to the team that beat the Western Force 34-12 in Perth last weekend.

Otherwise known as The Bus, 26-year-old Savea made his Hurricanes debut against the Highlanders in 2009.

Though it took him 16 matches to score his first Super Rugby try, Savea has crossed the line 45 times in his seven seasons for the Hurricanes.

Coach Chris Boyd said Savea continued to play a key role for the Canes.

"For the Bus to have his 100th at home, he's just been a great servant for the club, an integral part of the furniture over the last four or five years," he said.

"To play 100 matches at this level shows a high level of commitment and professionalism."

Winger Nehe Milner-Skudder and loose forward Ardie Savea return to the starting line-up, which also features an all-new front row of Chris Eves, Leni Apisai and Jeffery To'omaga-Allen.

Eves and To'omaga-Allen replace Loni Uhila and Ben May respectively as the props, with Apisai getting his first start of the season at hooker in place of Ricky Riccitelli.

Ardie Savea comes back in at No.8 with Brad Shields reverting to blindside and Reed Prinsep to the reserves.

Milner-Skudder is back in the starting side on the right wing in place of Cory Jane while Matt Proctor, who has been out for seven weeks recovering from concussion, will make his return via the reserves bench.

Boyd says not only will his starting line-up present a tough challenge for the Chiefs, there's also real depth on the reserves bench.

"The nice thing about the squad we've announced is I think we've got some reasonable strength on the bench, which means we can bring some guys on and hopefully make some impact."

Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (captain), Ardie Savea, Callum Gibbins, Brad Shields, Vaea Fifita, Sam Lousi, Jeff To'omaga-Allen, Leni Apisai, Chris Eves. Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli /James O'Reilly, Loni Uhila, Mike Kainga, Mark Abbott, Reed Prinsep, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Matt Proctor, Wes Goosen.

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