17 Mar 2015

Hurricanes pack stands tall

7:26 am on 17 March 2015

Always known for their flashy backline, the Hurricanes technical coach Richard Watt feels his forward pack is standing tall this Super Rugby season.

The unbeaten Hurricanes are preparing to take on the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.

Hurricanes loosie Brad Shields.

Hurricanes loosie Brad Shields. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Watt says after a few years together his young forward pack is showing some consistency.

He says it takes a while for forwards to mature and so players like Reggie Goodes, Motu Matu'u, Ardie Savea, Blade Thomson and Brad Shields now have 40-50 games under their belts and they have that experience.

He says they are physically growing and maturing as a pack.

Watt says everyone talks about their Rolls-Royce backline and the perception is that it's our pack that doesn't get us over the line in games.

Hurricanes loosie Ardie Savea.

Hurricanes loosie Ardie Savea. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Watt, who shares responsibility for the forwards with John Plumtree, says the forwards have taken that to heart and they're really working hard. They're not really proving doubters wrong - they're just proving themselves right.

There will be at least one change to the Hurricanes side for Friday's clash at the Highlanders with lock James Broadhurst suspended for a week for kneeing a Blues player.

However the timely return from injury of All Black Jeremy Thrush means Watt doesn't have too many concerns.

The only injury concerns for the Hurricanes are to hookers Dane Coles and Motu Matu'u who both have arm injuries.

The Hurricanes are 4 and 0 following wins over the Lions, Bulls, Western Force and Blues.

The Highlanders are also in good form, having suffered a close loss to the Crusaders in their first match, they've gone on to beat the Reds, Chiefs and Waratahs.

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