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Julian Savea benched by the Hurricanes for their Super Rugby semi-final

Dane Coles captains the team against the Lions in Johannesburg in what will be his first start since March.

Julian Savea is tackled by Johnny Sexton during the third test between New Zealand and the British & Irish Lions.
Julian Savea is tackled by Johnny Sexton during the third test between New Zealand and the British & Irish Lions.
Image: David Davies

JULIAN SAVEA WILL have to be content with watching from the bench as the Hurricanes begin their bid to reach the 2017 Super Rugby final this weekend.

Savea has been left out of the team for Saturday’s semi-final clash with the Lions in Johannesburg, after coach Chris Boyd made two changes to the side that scored a 35-16 win over the Brumbies in the quarter-finals last weekend.

With a reshuffle in the backline, Vince Aso returns at centre and Nehe Milner-Skudder and Wes Goosen — who chipped in with two tries against the Brumbies — start on the wings. With Savea on the bench, Cory Jane is left out of the matchday squad.

Earlier this month, 26-year-old Savea won his 54th New Zealand cap when he started for the All Blacks in the draw with the British & Irish Lions in the third test at Eden Park.

The other change to the Hurricanes team sees Dane Coles return from his concussion issues to start a game for the first time since March. The hooker, who will captain the team in his 100th Super Rugby appearance, made a 30-minute cameo last weekend.

Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Wes Goosen, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Brad Shields, Ardie Savea, Vaea Fifita, Sam Lousi, Mark Abbott, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles (c), Ben May. Subs: Ricky Riccitelli, Chris Eves, Loni Uhila, Reed Prinsep, Callum Gibbins, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Otere Black, Julian Savea.

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