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  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 24th May 2014
  • KO 08:35
  • Ground: TBA

Super Rugby: Hurricanes v Chiefs preview

Last updated: 22nd May 2014  

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The Chiefs will aim to keep up the pressure on the league-leading Sharks when they travel to the WestPac Stadium to face the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Dave Rennie's side sit just five points behind the Durban-based franchise with a game in hand, although the Sharks have the opportunity to stretch their lead to 10 when they face the Blues in Auckland on Friday.

Meanwhile, victory for the eighth-placed Hurricanes could see them elevated into the top three depending on other results.

Prior to their bye in round 14, the Chiefs recorded back-to-back victories after successive defeats and Rennie will be eager to make it a hat-trick and build on their one-point lead at the head of the New Zealand conference.

Meanwhile, Hurricanes enter Saturday's clash after a mixed period which has seen them claim three wins in their last five outings, one of their two defeats coming against compatriots the Highlanders last time out.

Jack Lam will make his 50th appearance for the Wellington-based side when they host the Chiefs and the flanker believes the milestone match is also crucial for the Hurricanes.

"Personally, I'm humbled and honoured to reach 50 games, but as a team, this match is huge for us in terms of how the remainder of our season plays out," he told the Hurricanes' official website.

"I'm just looking forward to getting stuck in and leaving everything out on that field."

Changes

Hooker Dane Coles comes back in to the Hurricanes' starting line-up after a week's injury break, while fly-half Beauden Barrett has recovered well from a hip injury and is expected to start against the Chiefs.

Should Ash Dixon be deemed unfit in the coming days, Reggie Goodes will provide cover at hooker, and Mike Kainga will suit up for the first time as a Hurricane.

Meanwhile, Chiefs boss Rennie has made three changes to his starting XV for the trip to Wellington.

In the back-line, Asaeli Tikoirotuma and Charlie Ngatai returning from injury to take their place on the left wing and at outside centre respectively.

The only other change to the run-on side sees Tim Nanai-Williams, who has recommitted to the Chiefs for the 2015 season, return to take the full-back jersey.

Fly-half Aaron Cruden makes his comeback from a thumb injury on the replacements bench, where he is joined by fellow returnees Kane Thompson and Tom Marshall.

Hurricanes: 15 Taylor, 14 Jane, 13 Smith (capt), 12 Leiua, 11 Savea, 10 Barrett, 9 Perenara; 1 Franks, 2 Coles, 3 Toomaga-Allen, 4 Thrush, 5 Broadhurst, 6 Levave, 7 Lam, 8 Vito

Replacements: 16 Dixon/Goodes, 17 Eves, 18 Goodes/Kainga, 19 Shields, 20 Savea, 21 Smylie, 22 Bateman, 23 Proctor/ Marshall

Chiefs: 15 Nanai-Williams, 14 Sweeney, 13 Ngatai, 12 Aki, 11 Tikoirotuma, 10 Anscombe, 9 Kerr-Barlow; 1 Manu, 2 Harris, 3 Tameifuna, 4 Fitzgerald, 5 Retallick, 6 Latimer, 7 Cane, 8 Messam (capt)

Replacements: 16 Schwalger, 17 Mackintosh, 18 Hohneck, 19 Thompson, 20 Squire, 21 Weber, 22 Cruden, 23 Marshall

You can see the Hurricanes take on the Chiefs live on Sky Sports 2HD from 8:30am

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Forthcoming Super Rugby Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super Rugby
Friday 13th February
Super Rugby
06:35Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels
08:40Brumbies vs Reds
17:10Lions vs Hurricanes
Saturday 14th February
06:35Blues vs Chiefs
15:05Sharks vs Cheetahs
17:05Bulls vs Stormers
Sunday 15th February
06:05Waratahs vs Western Force
Friday 20th February
06:35Chiefs vs Brumbies
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs
17:10Bulls vs Hurricanes
Saturday 21st February
06:35Highlanders vs Crusaders
08:40Reds vs Western Force
15:05Stormers vs Blues
17:10Sharks vs Lions
Friday 27th February
06:35Highlanders vs Reds
11:00Western Force vs Hurricanes
17:10Cheetahs vs Blues
Saturday 28th February
06:35Chiefs vs Crusaders
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies
15:05Bulls vs Sharks
17:10Lions vs Stormers
Friday 6th March
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
Saturday 7th March
06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs

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Phil Edwards

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