Super Rugby 2019: Hurricanes milestone for in-form Ngani Laumape

In-form Ngani Laumape will start his 50th Hurricanes match against the Chiefs on Friday night.

The Hurricanes star second-five has been in bruising form in 2019, terrorising the Brumbies and the Highlanders in recent weeks.

The back-to-back Hurricanes Player of the Year has made 48 Super Rugby appearances for 2016 champions, as well as one against the British and Irish Lions in 2017.

Laumape leads the competition try-scoring ranks with five five-pointers so far this season.

He will again partner Matt Proctor, who has been just as effective as the All Blacks midfielder. Coach John Plumtree has made just one change to his backline, with Wes Goosen replacing a rested Ben Lam.

But Plumtree has wielded the sledgehammer on his pack, after the Highlanders mauled a shaky set-piece last Friday night.

Props Toby Smith and Ben May replace Chris Eves and Jeff To'omaga-Allen in a bid to strengthen the Hurricanes scrum, so easily handled by the Highlanders.

The other change comes on the side of the scrum, where Reed Prinsep is recalled, with Vaea Fifita moving into lock.

The bench features two potential Hurricanes debutants, with wing Salesi Rayasi and loose forward Heiden Bedwell-Curtis.

"We said at the start of the season that we want to trust our squad and be smart with how we use our players," coach Plumtree said. "Heiden and Salesi have worked really hard and deserve their chance, if the opportunity presents itself. 

"We have real belief in the other players we have brought in and we are also really happy for Ngani to bring up his 50th match in what promises to be a tough New Zealand derby against a dangerous Chiefs team."

Hurricanes: 1-Toby Smith,2-Dane Coles, 3-Ben May, 4-James Blackwell, 5-Vaea Fifita, 6-Reed Prinsep, 7-Du Plessis Kirifi, 8-Ardie Savea, 9-TJ Perenara, 10-Beauden Barrett, 11-Wes Goosen, 12-Ngani Laumape, 13-Matt Proctor, 14-Jordie Barrett, 15-Chase Tiatia

Reserves: 16-Asofa Aumua, 17-Fraser Armstrong, 18-Alex Fidow, 19-Liam Mitchell, 20-Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 22-Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23-Salesi Rayesi.

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Join us at 7:25pm Friday night for live updates of the Chiefs vs Hurricanes Super Rugby clash.

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