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Smith cracks the Super Rugby ton for the Hurricanes

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hurricanes.co.nz     13 Mar 2014     Getty Images

Conrad Smith will run on for his 100th Hurricanes match this Saturday, following 11 seasons with the club.

The 32-year-old said the milestone was one he never dreamed of reaching.

“When I played that first game in 2004, very few would have guessed I’d reach this point. It’s such an honour and I treasure every opportunity I get to wear the swirl and represent the team I love.”

Smith will lead a line-up featuring a number of changes from the side which faced the Brumbies last weekend, including Faifili Levave and Hadleigh Parkes, who return from injury.

Ardie Savea has also been given the nod at openside flanker, while Jeffery Toomaga-Allen makes a return to the starting line-up.

“Jack Lam has had three very physical encounters, so we’re looking to take him out of the early battle exchanges this week. It’s good that we can do that, and give someone like Ardie a start as well,” said coach, Mark Hammett.

“The thinking is similar between John and Jeff. There’s not much that separates those two, and John also provides cover for both tighthead and loosehead, which we’ll look to utilise throughout the season.”

Chris Smylie gets his first start for the season at halfback ahead of TJ Perenara. Hammett said bringing Perenara off the bench would give him the opportunity to work on a few technical components of his game that had been reviewed during the week.

Alapati Leiua will occupy the right wing, with Cory Jane unavailable this week due to a broken nose, while Matt Proctor has also returned from injury and will provide cover off the bench.

Kick-off is at Westpac Stadium at 4.35pm.

The team to face the Cheetahs is;

1. Ben Franks
2. Dane Coles
3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
4. Jeremy Thrush
5. Mark Reddish
6. Faifili Levave
7. Ardie Savea
8. Blade Thomson
9. Chris Smylie
10. Beauden Barrett
11. Julian Savea
12. Hadleigh Parkes
13. Conrad Smith (c)
14. Alapati Leiua
15. James Marshall

Reserves

16. Motu Matu’u
17. Chris Eves
18. John Schwalger
19. James Broadhurst
20. Jack Lam
21. TJ Perenara
22. Matt Proctor
23. Marty Banks