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TJ relishing captaincy on home turf

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/04/2017

TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes. © Getty Images TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes. Stand-in Hurricanes skipper TJ Perenara says you can't beat the sensation of running out in front of your team on home turf.

The in-form halfback will lead the Hurricanes onto Westpac Stadium, this time against the NSW Waratahs on Friday, in the absence of hooker Dane Coles, who is nursing a knee injury.

"I'm relishing the captaincy and it's an awesome feeling to run the team out," Perenara said.

"Dane is a world class player and not having him is tough, he is a missing link for us out there.

"But there is a good feeling in the leadership group and once we're playing, we all work for each other."

Perenara said the return of Waratahs first five-eighth Bernard Foley, who had recovered from concussion, will boost the Sydney side.

"We have a big job on our hands against some big lads and Foley takes the ball to the line and adds a threat offensively.

"The last two times we played, he carved us up on the inside channels - he's a strong ball carrier who understands the game well.

"We need to wrap him up early."

Although the bad weather is expected to clear for Friday's clash, Perenara said Wellington's fickle conditions didn't concern the Hurricanes and a game plan can be altered "in the blink of an eye".

"We have players that can attack from anywhere on the field [but] I'm a believer that defence wins games.

"We know the weather can change but we're accustomed to it and can use it to our advantage."

Perenara said Jordie Barrett will likely take on the goalkicking duties, with Beauden Barrett's side strain affecting that part of his game.

Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett, Cory Jane, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Wes Goosen, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (c), Reed Prinsep, Callum Gibbins, Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa, Mark Abbott, Jeffery To'omaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Ben May.

Reserves: Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Mike Kainga, Vaea Fifita, Toa Halafihi, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Otere Black, Vince Aso.

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