Marshall back for Canes in Super Rugby

James Marshall returns to fullback in the sole change to the Hurricanes’ starting side for their Super Rugby match against the Sharks in Durban.

Marshall came off the bench last weekend in the Hurricanes’ 50-17 romp over the Lions in Johannesburg, having sat out three matches because of concussion.

He takes over from Jason Woodward, who joins the reserves.

The Hurricanes’ bench for the match on Sunday morning (NZT) also features the return of prop Ben May, lock Mark Abbott and midfielder Ngani Laumape.

Coach Chris Boyd says there continues to be healthy competition for all positions.

“We are in a good spot in terms of having a fully fit squad to choose from and there are a number of players putting real pressure on for starting spots,” he said.

The result over the Lions made it six wins for the Hurricanes in their past seven matches and keeps them well in the playoff picture.

The Sharks were edged 24-22 last weekend by competition leaders the Chiefs in New Plymouth to be fourth in the South African group and sitting outside the three playoff spots.

“It’s really important that we maintain the level of performance we produced against the Lions because, if we don’t, I know we will be in for a tough afternoon,” Boyd said.

“The Sharks are extremely tough at home and they are a side that can hurt you up front or out wide.”

Boyd was part of the Sharks’ coaching staff, along with Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree, from 2006-08.

Hurricanes: James Marshall, Cory Jane, Matt Proctor, Vince Aso, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa, Vaea Fifita, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles (capt), Reggie Goodes. Res: Motu Matu’u, Chris Eves, Ben May, Mark Abbott, Blade Thomson, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ngani Laumape, Jason Woodward.

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