Super Rugby
Jeremy Thrush to captain Hurricanes
June 26, 2014

Jeremy Thrush will captain the Hurricanes against the Crusaders in the absence of Conrad Smith, the injured All Blacks centre ruled out after breaking a thumb in the second Test against England.

Smith, who started all 13 Super Rugby games for the Hurricanes this year before the international break, won't play again in this campaign unless they reach the play-offs.

Former Crusaders centre Tim Bateman replaces Smith, while the pack features four changes after the 37-24 loss to the Blues in Auckland four weeks ago.

Brad Shields, who has made three bench appearances in a season spoiled by knee problems, replaces injured Faifili Levave. Blade Thomson will lock the scrum alongside Thrush, with James Broadhurst dropped, while Ardie Savea comes in for Jack Lam on the openside flank and All Blacks prop Ben Franks replaces Reggie Goodes.Reserve hooker Motu Matu'u is under an injury cloud, and has been bracketed with Goodes.

Franks is one of seven players involved in the All Blacks' 3-0 sweep of England who will blend back into the starting line-up. The others are wingers Cory Jane and Julian Savea, five-eighth Beauden Barrett, halfback TJ Perenara, No.8 Victor Vito and hooker Dane Coles.

Hurricanes: Matt Proctor; Cory Jane, Tim Bateman, Alapati Leiua, Julian Savea; Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara; Victor Vito, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields; Blade Thomson, Jeremy Thrush (captain); Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles, Ben Franks

Replacements: Moto Matu'u/Reggie Goodes, Chris Eves, Goodes/Brendon Edmonds, James Broadhurst, Jack Lam, Chris Smylie, Hadleigh Parkes James Marshall.

© AAP

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