Hurricanes v Brumbies
Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Friday 5.35pm (AEST)
Last meeting: Round 8, April 9, 2011 - Brumbies 17 bt Hurricanes 16 at Canberra Stadium
Head-to-head: Played 17, Brumbies 9, Hurricanes 8
In Wellington: Played 7, Hurricanes 4, Brumbies 3
Referee: Mark Lawrence (RSA)
TV: Live, FoxSports 3
TAB Sportsbet: Hurricanes $1.45 Brumbies $2.65
Greg Growden writes:Are the Brumbies finals bound? We'll know a lot more after their Wellington visit because if they can immediately win without Christian Lealiifano they could be trekking towards July glory. If they don't, the doubts will intensify.
AAP writes: The scoreboard should be kept ticking over in this enticing tussle. Hurricanes playmaker Beauden Barrett earned a first All Blacks squad call-up this week but finds himself on the bench as his side manages the 20-year-old's workload. Samoan international Tusi Pisi is his replacement after overcoming a calf strain. The visitors also have a new No.10 following the season-ending injury to Christian Lealiifano. Zack Holmes will make his run-on debut in the Brumbies hot seat. Ian Prior has also replaced the in-form Nic White in the No.9 jumper as they look to break a losing streak in Wellington that goes back to 2003.
HURRICANES: Andre Taylor, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith (c), Tim Bateman, Julian Savea, Tusi Pisi, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Karl Lowe, Brad Shields, Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush, Ben May, Dane Coles, Reggie Goodes. Reserves: Motu Matu'u, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, James Broadhurst, Jack Lam, Chris Eaton, Beauden Barrett, Jayden Hayward.
BRUMBIES: Jesse Mogg, Henry Speight, Andrew Smith, Pat McCabe, Joe Tomane, Zack Holmes, Ian Prior, Fotu Auelua, Michael Hooper, Ben Mowen (c), Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Dan Palmer, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander. Reserves: Anthony Hegarty, Ruaidhri Murphy, Peter Kimlin, Ita Vaea, Nic White, Robbie Coleman, Tevita Kuridrani.