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All Blacks hooker Dane Coles will make his captaincy debut for the Hurricanes in their Super Rugby game against the Western Force in Perth on Friday.


The Hurricanes have made five changes and a positional switch from the side who beat the Bulls 17-13 in Pretoria, completing a successful two-game trip to South Africa to begin their season.

Regular captain and centre Conrad Smith is being rested, making way for Rey Lee-Lo to return in the midfield alongside Ma’a Nonu after missing the Pretoria win with a hip injury.

Coles inherits the skipper’s armband for the first time in a forward pack which features two starting changes.

Ardie Savea returns at openside flank in place of Callum Gibbins while No.8 Victor Vito will make his first start of the year.

Vito’s selection has triggered a shuffle, with Blade Thomson shifting to lock and Mark Abbott to the reserves bench.

Lee-Lo’s return after starring in the season-opening 22-8 win over the Lions is one of three backline switches.

Halfback Chris Smylie and fullback James Marshall will both make their first starts of the season, replacing TJ Perenara and Jason Woodward respectively.

Manawatu fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder returns from a knee injury and has been named on the bench.

HURRICANES: James Marshall, Cory Jane, Rey Lee-Lo, Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Chris Smiley, Victor Vito, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, James Broadhurst, Blade Thomson, Ben Franks, Dane Coles (capt), Reggie Goodes. Reserves: Brayden Mitchell, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Chris Eves, Mark Abbott, Callum Gibbins, TJ Perenara, Matt Proctor, Nehe Milner-Skudder.


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