AAP Rugby

Hurricanes without All Blacks in Canberra

By AAP Newswire

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara will lead an injury-weakened Hurricanes in their Super Rugby match against the Brumbies in Canberra.

All Blacks Beauden Barrett, Vaea Fifita (both concussion) and Ardie Savea (ankle) are missing from Saturday's line-up following knocks during the Test series win over France.

Also absent is captain and England international Brad Shields, who returned from South Africa still suffering from the virus that ruled him out of the third Test of that series.

In a major blow to their title prospects, coach Chris Boyd confirmed impressive outside centre Matt Proctor will miss the rest of the campaign due to a cracked sternum.

Vince Aso, who specialises in the same position, was also scrubbed out for the season last month.

It means regular fullback Jordie Barrett will stay in the unfamiliar No.13 jumper, as he did in the twin losses to the Crusaders and Hurricanes before the international break.

Former Melbourne rebels five-eighth Jackson Garden-Bachop makes a rare and surprising start ahead of Ihaia West.

Sam Henwood and Reed Prinsep are the next-tier flanker combination for the second-placed visitors.

Utility back Wes Goosen returns from injury on the bench and could be invaluable for Boyd in the closing weeks.

The Hurricanes return to a venue where they were comfortable winners in last year's quarter-finals.

They need a victory to keep the heat on the competition-leading Crusaders, who have a bye this week.

Hurricanes: Nehe Milner-Skudder, Julian Savea, Jordie Barrett, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Jackson Garden-Bachop, TJ Perenara (capt), Gareth Evans, Sam Henwood, Reed Prinsep, Sam Lousi, Michael Fatialofa, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Toby Smith. Res: James O'Reilly, Chris Eves, Marcel Renata, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Blade Thomson, Jamie Booth, Ihaia West, Wes Goosen.