Hurricanes make raft of changes ahead of clash with Highlanders

The Hurricanes have made a raft of changes to their lineup as they take on the Highlanders on Sunday.

Vince Aso. Source: Photosport

Both teams are chasing their second win of the season and the Hurricanes will be looking to use their home advantage to claim a much-needed victory and jump ahead of the Highlanders in the standings.

Fletcher Smith takes the starting first five spot in place of Jackson Garden-Bachop, who will watch from the sidelines.

Vince Aso also returns to the midfield in place of Peter Umaga-Jensen.

Forwards Dane Coles, Fraser Armstrong and Reed Prinsep have all been ruled out due to minor injuries, making way for Asafo Aumua, Ben May, and Devan Flanders respectively.

Former New Zealand Sevens player Murphy Taramai is set to make his first Hurricanes appearance after being named on the bench.

The Hurricanes' only win of the season came last week after beating the Chiefs 25-18, leaving them just one point behind the Highlanders on the standings in fourth place.

Hurricanes: 1. Ben May, 2. Asafo Aumua, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 4. James Blackwell, 5. Scott Scrafton,  6. Devan Flanders, 7. Du’Plessis Kirifi 8. Ardie Savea, 9. TJ Perenara [C], 10. Fletcher Smith, 11. Ben Lam, 12. Ngani Laumape, 13. Vince Aso, 14. Kobus Van Wyk, 15. Jordie Barrett    

Reserves: 16. Ricky Riccitelli, 17. Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18. Alex Fidow, 19. Vaea Fifita, 20. Murphy Taramai, 21. Jamie Booth, 22. Billy Proctor, 23. Wes Goosen