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Ardie Savea set for Hurricanes debut

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hurricanes.co.nz and James Mortimer     04 Apr 2013     Getty Images

. The Wellington-born loose forward impressed many in his first ITM Cup season and now gets a chance to pull on the Canes jersey, following three matches for the Development side.

This Round Eight clash is set to be an exciting encounter because, as the history books show, very little separates the two sides. The Hurricanes have nine wins over the visitor’s eight, with no draws to date. Despite one less win, the Waratahs are ahead on both tries and points scored. The Hurricanes have a total of 393 points against the Waratahs and 46 tries, meanwhile the Australian side have accumulated 409 points and 50 tries.

This week’s changes to the starting 15 include Motu Matu’u who comes in for the injured Dane Coles. Coles sprained the ligaments in his thumb against the Kings and will miss this match. Mark Reddish comes in for Jeremy Thrush who suffered an ankle injury against the Kings, with James Broadhurst on the bench. Karl Lowe is in Hawke’s Bay and is unavailable for selection this week.

Three players have been bracketed and will be assessed after further training this week - Victor Vito (calf), Ash Dixon (shoulder) and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (sternum). If Faifili Levave is required to start, that will see Jack Lam on the bench for the first time since returning from his knee injury.

This Saturday could be a memorable occasion for Chris Smylie. If the reserve halfback takes the field, he will make his 50th Super Rugby appearance.

Following the fantastic turn-out at the Kings match, with over 15,000 in attendance, there is another special deal for kids to head to the game. Children’s tickets are $7 for anywhere in the Stadium for this match. See Ticketek for more information.

The Hurricanes team is as follows:

1. Ben Franks
2. Motu Matu’u
3. Ben May
4. Mark Reddish
5. Jason Eaton
6. Brad Shields
7. Ardie Savea
8. Victor Vito / Faifili Levave
9. TJ Perenara
10. Beauden Barrett
11. Julian Savea
12. Tim Bateman
13. Conrad Smith (c)
14. Alapati Leiua
15. Andre Taylor

RESERVES

16. Ash Dixon / Reggie Goodes
17. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen / Reggie Goodes
18. James Broadhurst
19. Faifili Levave / Jack Lam
20. Chris Smylie
21. Tusi Pisi
22. Reynold Lee-Lo