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Core players return for Hurricanes in Napier

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Lynn McConnell     20 Apr 2017     Getty Images

While TJ Perenara will be on the bench, the captaincy will be with flanker Brad Shields.

Coach Chris Boyd said injuries and opportunities were behind the selection for Napier, although Thomson's return since taking a knock in the opening game against the Sunwolves was most welcome.

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They were still awaiting an assessment of lock Michael Fatialofa's knee injury. He has had a scan but the verdict on what had happened was likely on Thursday afternoon. At the least there was a prospect he had dislocated his knee, Boyd said.

Halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi had not had a lot of time since joining the side last year and it was felt the game was a good chance to given him his debut start.

"He's probably not as abrasive as TJ [Perenara] is but there are probably not that many halfbacks in the world that are. He's very quick across the ground, he's got great core skills, got a great box kick and a great passing game. He's also a dangerous runner so I think it's a good opportunity and well deserved for him," he said.

Boyd said a definite decision on whether Jordie Barrett would attend the World Under-20 Championship was still to be made. The Under-20 side was going to the Oceania Championship without him but a final decision about the world tournament would be made after that.
Hooker Dane Coles was still recovering from calf injuries, but if they didn't have a bye after this weekend's game it was likely he would have been fit to play next week, Boyd said.

"I'd be pretty surprised if he's not ready for selection against the Stormers [in two weeks]," he said.

Nehe Milner-Skudder, who broke three metatarsals in a foot, was prospectively likely to be available in three weeks time and the management hoped they would be able to take him on their trip to South Africa in a month.

Thomson knew he had suffered a dislocation in his shoulder when it happened and that it was likely he would miss a significant period of the season.

The side had been going well but he was pleased just to be getting back into the fray.

The Brumbies would be strong in the scrums and lineouts so the requirement for the Hurricanes was to have their set-piece firing if they are to succeed.

He said having gone through all the necessary rehabilitation and the controlled contact he was confident that having done all the work required he should be in good shape for the knocks in the game.