10 Apr 2024

Perenara takes over from Roigard as Hurricanes eye up Chiefs

4:01 pm on 10 April 2024
The injury to Cam Roigard means TJ Perenara may get to extend his All Blacks career.

The injury to Cam Roigard means TJ Perenara may get to extend his All Blacks career. Photo: www.photosport.nz

One All Black out, one in for the Hurricanes, with TJ Perenara replacing the injured Cam Roigard at halfback for Saturday's Super Rugby derby with the Chiefs in Wellington.

Head coach Clark Laidlaw has named a relatively unchanged side from the one that beat the Highlanders in their last match, with the one notable omission being Roigard, who suffered a serious knee injury in the win in Dunedin and will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season and the All Blacks July tests and Rugby Championship campaign.

Hurricanes all-time top try scorer TJ Perenara slots into the starting XV, while fellow halfback Richard Judd moves onto the bench. Loose forward Devan Flanders also comes back into the matchday 23 via the reserves.

Cam Roigard of the Hurricanes scores during Super Rugby Pacific - Hurricanes v Crusaders match. Sky Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand on Saturday 3 June 2023. © Mandatory credit: Elias Rodriguez / www.photosport.nz

Cam Roigard has suffered a serious knee injury. Photo: Elias Rodriguez

The table-topping Hurricanes have won six straight games and are the only unbeaten team this season.

Laidlaw said the players were energised having come off a bye week ahead of Saturday's clash with a strong Chiefs side who he believes will be their biggest test of the season thus far.

"It's going to be a massive battle," said Laidlaw.

"The Chiefs are last year's finalists. They're full of very good players and coaches. They've got threats right across the field when they get on the front foot. There's the obvious threat around Damian McKenzie and how well he's been playing, so we're expecting the hardest game of the year, so we're preparing for it.

"But the team is feeling energised, refreshed, and ready for this. It was nice to have the time off to reflect on where we're at, and now the team has come back in with real energy and a purpose to get back on the horse as quickly as possible. We've had two good days of training, so it's been good."

The match against the Chiefs will also be part of Charity Round, with Life Flight being the Hurricanes charity partner.