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Hurricanes centre Matt Proctor backs midfield partner and understrength side against Crusaders

Hurricanes midfielder Matt Proctor is confident his understrength team will get up for their Super Rugby New Zealand derby match against the Crusaders in Christchurch tomorrow night.

Proctor pairs up with Vince Aso in the midfield, with All Blacks second-five Ngani Laumape named on the bench.

The 26-year-old backs his centre pairing with Aso, saying his teammate will bring flair and power at second-five.

"I think no, matter where he plays, he is just one of those players that can slot in the backline anywhere and does the job," said Proctor.

"At 12, he is still an explosive ball carrier and can get us over the gain line going forward.

"He is still as dangerous on the wing wearing that 12 jersey as well."

Proctor believes Fletcher Smith and Finlay Christie will step up to the challenge against the defending champions the Crusaders, despite having little experience playing together at first-five and halfback.

"I think it is going to be a big challenge for us outside just to help them a little bit where we can, but I have got full faith in Fletch and Finlay to do the job.

"They are both obviously really good players and they have both shown signs of that during the pre-season and even last week as well," Proctor said.

"The whole team is fully behind them and have got full faith in them," he added. "If we just all go out and do what we are supposed to do, then hopefully it will all go well."

Proctor was ruled out of the Hurricanes' 20-19 win over the Waratahs last weekend, after suffering food poisoning before Saturday's match in Manly.

The Crusaders have nine All Blacks named in their starting 15 for Saturday's Super Rugby clash in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS