Super Rugby 2019: Dane Coles scratched from Hurricanes vs Crusaders

A minor calf strain has scratched Dane Coles from Friday night's Hurricanes-Crusaders tussle.

The All Blacks hooker has been in outstanding form for the Hurricanes in 2019, playing a key role in their excellent start.

With just one loss from their opening six games, they find themselves in a head-to-head battle with the Crusaders for the top spot in the New Zealand conference.

But Coles won't be risked for the New Zealand derby, despite the injury being described as "minor" by Hurricanes management.

Ricky Riccitelli will wear the number two jersey on Friday night, with Asafo Aumua coming onto the bench.

Coach John Plumtree has named a nuclear-looking backline, featuring All Blacks TJ Perenara, Beauden and Jordie Barrett, Ngani Laumape and Matt Proctor.

Chase Tiatia will start from fullback, partnering Jordie Barrett and Ben Lam in the back three.

Up front, Fraser Armstrong and Ben May have the job of repelling the powerful Crusaders scrum. The two props will be backed up by Chris Eves and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, who will come off the bench.

Vaea Fifita will start at blindside flanker, while Reed Prinsep keeps his spot at the back of the scrum, meaning Ardie Savea remains on the openside.

The Hurricanes host the Crusaders at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday night.

Hurricanes: 1-Fraser Armstrong, 2-Ricky Riccitelli, 3-Ben May, 4-James Blackwell, 5-Liam Mitchell, 6-Vaea Fifita, 7-Ardie Savea, 8-Reed Prinsep, 9-TJ Perenara, 10-Beauden Barrett, 11-Ben Lam, 12-Ngani Laumape, 13-Matt Proctor, 14-Jordie Barrett, 15-Chase Tiatia

Reserves: 16-Asafo Aumua, 17-Chris Eves, 18-Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19-Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20-Du'Plessis Kirifi, 21-Richard Judd, 22-Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23-Wes Goosen.


Join us from 7:30pm Friday for live updates of the Hurricanes vs Crusaders Super Rugby clash.