Super Rugby
Ardie Savea still warms Hurricanes bench
March 5, 2014
Ardie Savea came off the bench against the Stormers and will start on the bench again when they take on the Brumbies © Getty Images

The Hurricanes have made two changes but exciting flanker Ardie Savea remains on the reserve bench for their Super Rugby match against the ACT Brumbies in Wellington.

Winless after opening the season with two games in South Africa, coach Mark Hammett has made one change each in the backs and forwards ahead of Friday's game against last year's beaten finalists.

Adam Hill replaces an injured Faifili Levave on the blindside flank while James Marshall wins the fullback jersey ahead of utility back Marty Banks, who drops to the reserves. Joining him on the bench is Savea, 20, who didn't play in the 27-9 loss to the Sharks and had a late cameo in last weekend's 19-18 loss to the Stormers.

The athletic openside is regarded as a bright talent, having joined the All Blacks on their tour of Europe last November in a learning capacity. However, Hammett says flanker Jack Lam was among their best players in South Africa, leaving no room for Savea, who was nursed through his debut season last year and told to bulk up.

"So firstly he's got a guy in front of him who's playing outstanding footy," Hammett told Radio Sport. "We were up against big South Africans and obviously Ardie, still one of his work-ons is getting size."

Hurricanes: James Marshall; Cory Jane, Conrad Smith (captain), Julian Savea; Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara; Blade Thomson, Jack Lam, Adam Hill; Mark Reddish, Jeremy Thrush; John Schwalger, Dane Coles, Ben Franks. Replacements: Motu Matu'u, Chris Eves, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, James Broadhurst, Ardie Savea, Chris Smylie, Alapati Leiua, Marty Banks.


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