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Super Rugby: Hurricanes v Blues match preview
The Hurricanes have made just one change to their starting XV for Friday’s Super Rugby derby with the Blues at Westpac Stadium.
Having had the chance to rest following their win over the Bulls – with the Wellington franchise enjoying a bye last weekend – only Ben Franks is missing through injury.
That means Reggie Goodes starts at loosehead prop, while Tim Bateman, Chris Smylie, Motu Matu'u, Ardie Savea and Matt Proctor are fit enough to take their places on the bench.
The Blues also had the week off and they will be buoyed by the return of several key players – including veteran hooker Keven Mealamu.
Captain Luke Braid, Jerome Kaino Patrick Tuipulotu, Tom Donnelly, Chris Noakes and Lolagi Visinia also come into the line-up.
Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan said: "It's great to welcome Kevvie back.
"He's had just 20 minutes for us this season so it was a decision as to whether we brought him off the bench or just threw him out there and I think he's got the experience and the fitness to be able to start. He's 100 percent so we'll just get him out there from the start."
Hurricanes: 15 Taylor, 14 Jane, 13 C Smith (c), 12 Leiua, 11 J Savea, 10 Barrett, 9 Perenara, 1 Goodes, 2 Coles, 3 Toomaga-Allen, 4 Thrush, 5 Broadhurst, 6 Levave, 7 Lam, 8 Vito
Replacements: 16 Matu'u, 17 Eves, 18 Schwalger, 19 Thomson, 20 A Savea, 21 Smylie, 22 Bateman, 23 Proctor
Blues: 15 Piutau, 14 Moala, 13 Saili, 12 Nonu, 11 Visinia, 10 Noakes, 9 Hall, 1 Woodcock, 2 Mealamu, 3 Faumuina, 4 Tuipulotu, 5 Donnelly, 6 Luatua, 7 Braid (c), 8 Luatua.
Replacements: 16 Parsons, 17 Prattley, 18 Ta'avao, 19 Moli, 20 O'Connor, 21 Gibson-Park, 22 Marshall, 23 Halai
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|Friday 13th February|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
|15:05||Stormers vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com