Departing All Blacks midfielder Ngani Laumape has been rested the Hurricanes’ squad for their opening game of the trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition.
Laumape confirmed yesterday he was leaving Wellington to join French club Stade Francais for the upcoming 2021/2022 season when the trans-Tasman tournament finishes.
A day later, Hurricanes coach Jason Holland has named his team to take on the Waratahs in Sydney, with Laumape’s name missing from a team that features a few tweaks to the one that last played the Highlanders last month.
Alex Fidow has swapped his spot on the bench for a starting role at tighthead prop with Tyrel Lomax while Isaia Walker-Leawere has also joined the starting line-up at lock.
In the backline, the only change is Laumape’s removal which the Hurricanes didn’t mention in their statement.
“The backline remains largely unchanged, the exception being at second five-eighth, where Peter Umaga-Jensen will partner Billy Proctor,” the Hurricanes said.
Holland said the naming was about opportunities.
“We have a number of guys in the squad who have continued to really put their hand up for selection right through our domestic season and we’ve now given some of them a chance again,” Holland said.
The Hurricanes play the Waratahs at the SCG at 9.45pm this Friday.
Hurricanes: 1. Xavier Numia, 2. Dane Coles (c), 3. Alex Fidow, 4. James Blackwell, 5. Isaia Walker-Leawere, 6. Reed Prinsep, 7. Du’Plessis Kirifi, 8. Devan Flanders, 9. Luke Campbell, 10. Reuben Love, 11. Salesi Rayasi, 12. Peter Umaga-Jensen, 13. Billy Proctor, 14. Julian Savea, 15. Jordie Barrett.
Reserves: 16. Asafo Aumua, 17. Tevita Mafileo, 18. Tyrel Lomax, 19. Liam Mitchell, 20. Brayden Iose, 21. Jonathan Taumateine, 22. Orbyn Leger, 23. Pepesana Patafilo.