Super Rugby Round 19 - Hurricanes v Highlanders
Alapati Leiua returns among two changes
July 4, 2013
Alapati Leiua has been a powerful presence for the Hurricanes in 2013 © Getty Images
Alapati Leiua has been restored to the Hurricanes' starting side as one of two changes for their Super Rugby round 19 match against the Highlanders in Wellington on Saturday. Matt Proctor makes way on the right wing for Leiua, while Faifili Levave replaces Brad Shields at blindside flank. Both demoted players are on the reserves bench.
Leiua's impressive form this season saw him start the team's first 13 games of the Super Rugby season, but he was on the bench for last Friday's 34-22 loss to the Chiefs in Hamilton after Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett said he was wary of the effects on the winger of three Test appearances for Samoa in the four-nation tournament in South Africa in June, followed by the flight home.
Another of the Samoa tourists, flanker Jack Lam, is the only new face in the 22-man Hurricanes squad to face the Highlanders, one of five forwards on the bench after Samoa five-eighth Tusi Pisi, was dropped with a hand injury. New Zealand Under-20 captain Ardie Savea was listed as unavailable due to an ankle injury.
Hurricanes: James Marshall; Alapati Leiua, Conrad Smith, Reynold Lee-Lo, Julian Savea; Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara; Victor Vito, Karl Lowe, Faifili Levave; James Broadhurst, Jeremy Thrush; Ben May, Ash Dixon, Ben Franks. Replacements: Reggie Goodes, John Schwalger, Mark Reddish, Brad Shields, Jack Lam, Chris Smylie, Matt Proctor.