Posted on 28th Jul 2016
Hurricanes captain Dane Coles will be given until match day to prove his fitness for Saturday’s Investec Super Rugby semifinal against the Chiefs at Westpac Stadium.
Coles has been bracketed at hooker with Ricky Riccitelli in an otherwise unchanged Hurricanes team from the one which beat the Sharks 41-0 in last weekend’s quarterfinal.
Riccitelli has been bracketed with New Zealand Under 20s hooker Leni Apisai, who will come into the squad if Coles does not recover in time from the rib injury he suffered against the Sharks.
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said Coles’ would be given every opportunity to prove his fitness for the semifinal.
“Colesy is improving each day and doing everything he can to get himself fit, but at the end of the day we just won’t know until a little closer to kick off. We are hopeful he’ll make it to the start line, but if he doesn’t we have every confidence in Ricky and Leni to do the job for us as they have done all year.”
Riccitelli has appeared in seven matches this season as a substitute, while Apisai started the opening three matches of the season in Coles’ absence and was the captain of the New Zealand Under 20s team at the Junior World Championships in England.
Boyd said it was pleasing to be able to name such a settled team for the semifinal.
“Clearly the team performed well against the Sharks and it was a bit of a no brainer to let the same side carry on against the Chiefs. Whoever goes out there on Saturday knows we are in for a really tough test because the Chiefs are a quality team.”
Boyd said a major plus for the Hurricanes was home advantage and with about 25,000 tickets sold for the semifinal there was plenty of excitement in the camp.
“Our fans were incredible coming out last week in some pretty testing weather conditions and no doubt this week with a much better forecast the crowd will be bigger again. The guys feed off that energy and that support and it really lifts them.”
Saturday’s match will be the Hurricanes seventh appearance in a Super Rugby semifinal and the second time they have played the Chiefs this season at Westpac Stadium.
The Hurricanes regular season match against the Chiefs in week nine produced a thrilling finish that saw the Hurricanes lose 28-27.
The Chiefs come into the match on the back of a 60-21 quarterfinal win over the Stormers in Cape Town.
Hurricanes team to play the Chiefs at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Saturday, July 30:
15 James Marshall
14 Cory Jane
13 Matt Proctor
12 Willis Halaholo
11 Jason Woodward
10 Beauden Barrett
9 TJ Perenara (vc)
8 Victor Vito
7 Ardie Savea
6 Brad Shields
5 Michael Fatialofa
4 Vaea Fifita
3 Ben May
2 Dane Coles (c)/Ricky Riccitelli
1 Loni Uhila
Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli/Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Mike Kainga, Mark Abbott, Callum Gibbins, Jamison Gibson Park, Vince Aso, Julian Savea.
Injured: Reggie Goodes (concussion), Ngani Laumape (groin), Blade Thomson (shoulder), Nehe Milner-Skudder (shoulder), Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (broken arm), Motu Matu’u
The Highlanders have defeated the Australian conference winning Brumbies 15-9 in Canberra to advance to the semi finals and are now one step closer to back to back titles after winning their maiden Super Rugby title last year. This was the first time since 2006 that the Highlanders have won in Canberra.The Highlanders scored two [...]
Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Brumbies in the quarterfinalsAfter finishing fifth on the table at the end of the regular season the Pulse Energy Highlanders will take on the Australian Conference winners and sole remaining Australian team the Brumbies in the quarter finals this Friday night.The starting team has just two personnel changes with No.8 Liam Squire gaining a [...]
In Defence of The BluesBy Mark CalverleyI admit, when JK gave his defiant speech after last weeks' loss I had mixed thoughts. "Typically brave", "deluded" and "interesting" amongst them. JK's an engaging and intelligent man, but I don't see him as a bullsh....er!If you study the statistics (check out Opta) it does show that the [...]
http://www.rugby365.com/article/64540-nonu-back-to...Nonu back to face BullsMa'a Nonu will play his first game for the Hurricanes in four years when they take on the Bulls in a Super Rugby Round Two match in Pretoria on Friday.Nonu, who missed last week's season opening 22-8 win over the Lions in Johannesburg after arriving late in South Africa, was on [...]
Check out ESPN's picks and tips from Greg Growden for SR Round 1: ESPN Friday, February 13Crusaders v Rebels, AMI Stadium, Christchurchhttp://www.espnscrum.com/super-rugby-2015/rugby/st...Head-to-head: Played 3, Crusaders 3, Rebels 0, Drawn 0In Christchurch: Played 1; Crusaders 1, Rebels 0, Drawn 0Last clash: Round 5, 2015 - Rebels 19-25, AAMI Park, MelbourneKey Stats (Opta Stats) The Crusaders are unbeaten in 23 [...]
Ex All Black Craig Dowd casts an expert eye over the chances of the franchises for Super Rugby 2015.http://www.espnscrum.com/super-rugby-2015/rugby/st...Super Rugby 2015 is all about players getting their timing right.Rugby World Cup year increases the emphasis on consistent performance throughout the campaign, and the tournament represents the last chance for players to push their case for [...]
http://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/super-rugby/supe...Super Rugby Top 20 players: Richie McCaw, Willie le Roux headline countdown of players 15-11 SUPER Rugby is back this weekend with seven mouth-watering fixtures taking place across all three nations, beginning with the Crusaders and Rebels on Friday night.To celebrate the return of rugby’s top provincial competition, we’re counting down the Top 20 Super Rugby [...]
Kurtley Beale, Henry Speight headline countdown of players 20-16Fox Sports highlight their Top 20 Super Rugby Players to watch in 2015:"20. KURTLEY BEALEControversial Waratah Kurtley Beale is no stranger to the headlines, but the talented utility back will be hoping the only attention he receives is for his match-winning ability in 2015.Beale was an integral [...]