Young Canes prop gets starting chance
Young prop Reggie Goodes will make his first Super Rugby start while midfielder Tim Bateman has been bracketed in the Hurricanes team to face the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.
Goodes' pre-season was marred by a shoulder injury which threatened to rule him out for the entire campaign, but he made a speedy recovery inside 10 weeks and sufficiently impressed coach Mark Hammett off the bench in last week's win over the Blues.
The 20-year-old replaces Jeffery Toomaga-Allen who drops to the bench, while Ben May switches to the tighthead side to face a seasoned Highlanders front row of Jamie Mackintosh, Andrew Hore and Chris King.
Assuming Bateman is passed fit, Goodes will be the only change to the run-on 15 who beat the Blues 35-19 for the Hurricanes' fifth win of the season.
Bateman, whose face was bloodied after he took a nasty knock against the Blues, was bracketed with Charlie Ngatai at second five-eighth. On the bench, backup first five-eighths Tusi Pisi and Daniel Kirkpatrick are also bracketed after neither was required last weekend.
Meanwhile, Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has some selection headaches amid a loose forward injury crisis after their 28-16 defeat to the Sharks in Durban.
Veteran Hale T-Pole is a potential inclusion after he was summoned to the squad following a stint in Japan. First choice openside John Hardie (foot), along with Doug Tietjens (knee), Nick Crosswell (knee) and Elliot Dixon (chest) are all sidelined, as is England international James Haskell (suspension).
T-Pole played the last of his 60 games for Southland in the early rounds of the 2007 NPC before leaving for the World Cup where he represented Tonga.
HURRICANES: Andre Taylor, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith (c), Charlie Ngatai/Tim Bateman, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Karl Lowe, Faifili Levave, Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush, Ben May, Dane Coles, Reggie Goodes. Reserves: Motu Matu'u, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Brad Shields, Jack Lam, Chris Eaton, Tusi Pisi/Daniel Kirkpatrick, Bateman/Alapati Leiua.
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The Dominion Post