Powerhouse All Blacks winger Julian Savea has been left out of the Hurricanes side to face the Southern Kings in Friday’s Super Rugby clash in Wellington.
Coach Chris Boyd has made three changes to his starting line up for the match against the winless South African side.
Willis Halaholo, former Melbourne Rebel Jason Woodward and Michael Fatialofa all come into the starting team for the Hurricanes who are coming off a 41-6 win over the Western Force in Palmerston North.
Halaholo will start at centre with Vince Aso moving to the reserves, Woodward takes Savea’s place on the left wing, and Fatialofa comes in at lock for Blade Thomson, who shifts to No.8 in place of Victor Vito, who will miss the match with a calf strain.
It’s believed Savea has been given a freshen up with the Hurricanes having the bye week after they face the Kings.
“All three of those guys who have come in will be looking put their hand up,” Boyd said.
“We are very lucky with the depth we have in a number of positions and particularly in the outside backs.”
On the bench, utility back Matt Proctor returns from a knee injury and halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and lock Geoff Cridge make their first appearances of the season.
Hurricanes: James Marshall, Cory Jane, Willis Halaholo, Ngani Laumape, Jason Woodward, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Blade Thomson, Ardie Savea, Vaea Fifita, Mark Abbott, Michael Fatialofa, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles (captain), Chris Eves.
Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli, Loni Uhila, Ben May, Geoff Cridge, Callum Gibbins, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor.