Coles battling to make Super Rugby final

The Hurricanes are again leaving a decision on the fitness of skipper Dane Coles as late as possible for Saturday’s Super Rugby final against the Lions in Wellington.

The All Blacks hooker missed his side’s semi-final win over the Chiefs last weekend with a rib injury.

If he is fit to play against the Lions, his inclusion will be the only change to the Hurricanes’ run-on side.

If he is ruled out, youngster Ricky Riccitelli, who impressed when starting against the Chiefs, will again wear the No.2 jersey on Saturday night, with Leni Apisai on the bench.

Coach Chris Boyd says the situation was similar to last week.

“Colesy has made good progress each day and clearly he’s very keen to play in the final,” he said.

“He will do everything he can to be fit for kick-off and, if he doesn’t make it, then we have every confidence Ricky and Leni can step up and do a good job if required.”

Boyd will also have two late calls to make in the reserves.

Openside flanker Callum Gibbins, who missed the semi-final with an Achilles injury, has been bracketed with Tony Lamborn.

Prop Reggie Goodes has been bracketed with Mike Kainga as he continues to work through concussion protocols.

Boyd said Gibbins and Goodes would be given as much as time as needed to proved their fitness.

Both the Hurricanes and Lions are seeking their first title and both head into the final after convincing wins last weekend.

The Hurricanes downed the Chiefs 25-9 in Wellington, while the Lions ended the run of the defending champion Highlanders 42-30 in Johannesburg.

Hurricanes: James Marshall, Cory Jane, Matt Proctor, Willis Halaholo, Jason Woodward, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa, Vaea Fifita, Ben May, Dane Coles (capt)/ Ricky Riccitelli, Loni Uhila. Reserves: Riccitelli/Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Reggie Goodes/Mike Kainga, Mark Abbott, Callum Gibbins/Tony Lamborn, Jamison Gibson-Park, Vince Aso, Julian Savea.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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