Super Rugby: TJ Perenara to captain Hurricanes against Reds

  • 16/05/2018

Vince Aso's Super Rugby season is over as the Hurricanes received some rare bad injury news in the lead-up to their clash with the Queensland Reds.

Lightning-quick outside back Aso needs wrist ligament surgery and won't return to the field for three months, making him unavailable for a Hurricanes team whose attrition rate has been better than most.

Aso's absence hasn't stopped coach Chris Boyd resting All Blacks inside centre Ngani Laumape for Friday's match in Wellington, handing a competition debut to 20-year-old Peter Umaga-Jensen.

There are six changes to the starting side that beat the Blues 36-15 in Auckland, the Hurricanes' ninth successive win.

The most notable omission is captain Brad Shields, who is on the bench after starting the past 39 matches for the Wellington-based team.

Boyd scotched suggestions Shields had been rested upon the request of England coach Eddie Jones.

The 27-year-old flanker was recently selected in the England squad to tour South Africa in June, having received clearance from New Zealand Rugby.

Reed Prinsep takes the blindside berth, while No.8 Blade Thomson makes his first start of a season spoiled by concussion.

Halfback TJ Perenara takes over the captaincy from Shields in his return to the starting side while fullback Jordie Barrett is back from injury, pushing Nehe Milner-Skudder to the wing and Julian Savea to the bench.

Barrett said the Hurricanes are reading little into the Reds' flaky form in 2018, which includes last week's embarrassing 63-28 loss to the previously winless Sunwolves.

"We're not reading too much into that because the week before they beat the Lions. They're a side who can shift from week to week," Barrett said.

"They're quite a young team.

"(Samu) Kerevi and those young guys, even if they have been quiet, they'll get up for us. Every team tries to get up, especially in Wellington."

Hurricanes: 15. Jordie Barrett, 14. Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13. Matt Proctor, 12. Peter Umaga-Jensen, 11.  Ben Lam, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. TJ Perenara (c), 8. Blade Thomson, 7. Ardie Savea, 6. Reed Prinsep, 5. Sam Lousi, 4. Michael Fatialofa, 3. Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2. Ricky Riccitelli, 1. Toby Smith

Reserves: 16. James O'Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18. Ben May, 19. Vaea Fifita, 20. Brad Shields, 21. Jamie Booth, 22. Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23. Julian Savea

AAP