3 Apr 2015

Hurricanes chasing history in Wellington

6:14 pm on 3 April 2015

The table-topping Hurricanes take on the Stormers in Wellington tonight, hoping to equal a franchise record of seven straight Super Rugby wins.

The All Blacks second-five Ma'a Nonu in action for the Hurricanes.

The All Blacks second-five Ma'a Nonu in action for the Hurricanes. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

All Blacks and Hurricanes second five Ma'a Nonu will also notch up a significant milestone as he becomes just the fourth player in Super Rugby history to play 150 Super Rugby games.

The unbeaten Hurricanes and Nonu in particular have impressed in defence this season, but he's not taking much of the credit.

"We've got a good defence coach. His name's John Plumtree, he's been great and we've been doing it for each other as players," he said.

"We've been working hard, getting off the ground and getting shoulders into bodies, so the tackle stats were alright last week.

"But I think we were riding the tackle against the Rebels so the focus against the Stormers is trying to get the ball carrier on the ground faster."

Meanwhile, Hurricanes and All Blacks hooker Dane Coles faces up to another five weeks on the sideline with an ongoing elbow injury.

Coles suffered the injury playing the Blues last month and has missed their last two Super Rugby matches.

Coach Chris Boyd said Coles was told by a surgeon today that he has some ligament damage in the elbow and was another four to five weeks away from playing again.

Boyd said it was a setback for Coles but one had to expect these things and it gave Motu Matu'u a further chance to stake his claim.

Matu'u will start at hooker again this week against the Stormers, while Brayden Mitchell is in the reserves.

The Hurricanes have three of their All Blacks returning this week after a rest: prop Ben Franks, first five Beauden Barrett and winger Julian Savea.

Midfielder Nonu will become just the fourth person to play 150 Super Rugby games; 114 of those have been with the Hurricanes.

During his time with the Hurricanes from 2003-2011 and again this year, he has accumulated 215 points for the team, made up of 43 tries.

The 32-year-old joins Keven Mealamu, Corey Flynn, and Nathan Sharpe in the 150 club.

Nehe Milner-Skudder also comes back into the starting line-up at fullback.


1. Reggie Goodes

2. Motu Matu'u

3. Ben Franks

4. Jeremy Thrush

5. James Broadhurst

6. Brad Shields

7. Callum Gibbins

8. Victor Vito

9. TJ Perenara

10. Beauden Barrett

11. Julian Savea

12. Ma'a Nonu

13. Conrad Smith

14. Cory Jane

15. Nehe Milner-Skudder


16. Brayden Mitchell

17. Ben May

18. Chris Eves

19. Mark Abbott

20. Adam Hill

21. Chris Smylie

22. Rey Lee-Lo

23. James Marshall