Cape Town – Captain Brad Shields will become just the 14th player to
bring up 100 appearances for the Hurricanes when he leads the team south to
meet the Highlanders at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday.
The match will be the 99th Super Rugby appearance for
Shields who also started for the Hurricanes against the British and Irish Lions
Shields will join Tana Umaga, Rodney So’oialo, Andrew Hore,
Cory Jane, Victor Vito, Jeremy Thrush, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Neemia Tialata,
Julian Savea, Dane Coles, Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara to reach the
milestone in the club’s 23-year history.
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd congratulated Shields on
reaching the mark and believed the squad would be determined to celebrate the
milestone in the appropriate way.
“There is no other player who is more respected in this
squad and our club than Brad are determined to put together a performance that
recognises that on Friday,” Boyd said.
“Brad is certainly a guy who leads and sets standards
by example and that is reflected in everything he does, not only on the field
but at training and interacting with our fans and members. We all congratulate
him on reaching a century for the Hurricanes.”
Boyd has made just one change to the starting XV which lost
to the defending champion Crusaders in Christchurch last week with number eight
Gareth Evans replacing Blade Thomson.
Evans has missed the last two Hurricanes matches after
suffering from an ankle problem but Boyd said he had now fully recovered and
has taken a full part in training this week.
All Blacks squad member Vaea Fifita has been bracketed on
the bench with Murray Douglas as assessments continue to be made as to the
state of his fitness after he suffered a bone bruise in his shoulder against
A decision on whether or not Fifita takes his place on the
bench would likely be made on Thursday.
There is a confirmed change in the reserves where utility
back Wes Goosen returns after a lengthy lay-off after he fractured his jaw
against the Chiefs on April 13.
Boyd said Goosen had impressed everyone by how hard he had
worked to regain fitness following the injury, his second significant setback
this season after damaging his ankle in the opening match against the Bulls in