Lions tour: Hurricanes welcome All Blacks into the fold for clash with Lions

  • 25/06/2017

The British and Irish Lions won't have it easy in their final midweek game of the New Zealand tour after the Hurricanes named a power-packed side.

All Blacks squad backs Julian Savea, Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape and forward Vaea Fifita have been released for the match on Tuesday, which is followed only by the Lions' last two Tests.

The starting XV is close to full strength, with the key absentees being an All Blacks Test trio - halves TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett and flanker Ardie Savea - along with long-time injured hooker and captain Dane Coles.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says he is happy to release a number of his fringe players for the match and indicated to Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd who they would be about a week ago.

He wasn't keen to deny them the opportunity to face the tourists and said the experience would be good for their careers.

Without Coles and Perenara, Boyd has named long-serving loose forward Brad Shields as captain.

Julian Savea's availability on the left wing suggests there won't be a place for him again in the second Test at the same Westpac Stadium venue on Saturday.

The prolific Savea, surprisingly replaced by two-try flyer Rieko Ioane in the All Blacks team that beat the Lions 30-15 at Eden Park, will have plenty to prove, Boyd suggests.

"I suspect that'll probably have additional motivation for him," he said.

"Julian will be disappointed that he didn't play in that Test match but I'm sure his motivation will be around playing well for the Hurricanes."

There is no room in a red-hot Hurricanes starting backline for former All Blacks winger Cory Jane, who is pushed onto the bench by Nehe Milner-Skudder.

Second five-eighth Laumape resumes his lethal midfield combination with Vince Aso, with both having scored a Super Rugby season-leading 14 tries.

Milner-Skudder is among four starting Hurricanes who were in the Maori All Blacks team well beaten by the Lions, along with halves Otere Black and Te Toirora-Tahuriorangi, and prop Ben May.

Reserve halfback Kemara Hauiti-Parapara is in line to make his Hurricanes debut. The New Zealand under-20 representative has yet to play at NPC level.

Boyd and assistant coach John Plumtree have coached against the Lions twice previously as a combination - for Wellington in 2005 and South Africa's Sharks in 2009.

Hurricanes team to face British and Irish Lions

1. Ben May, 2. Ricky Riccitelli, 3. Jeffery To'omaga-Allen, 4. Mark Abbott, 5. Sam Lousi, 6. Vaea Fifita, 7.  Callum Gibbins, 8.  Brad Shields (c), 9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 10. Otere Black, 11. Julian Savea, 12. Ngani Laumape, 13. Vince Aso, 14.  Nehe Milner-Skudder, 15. Jordie Barrett

Reserves: 16. Leni Apisai, 17. Chris Eves, 18. Mike Kainga, 19. ames Blackwell, 20. Reed Prinsep, 21. Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, 22. Wes Goosen, 23. Cory Jane