Julian Savea back for Hurricanes
May 2, 2013
The Hurricanes need Julian Savea to be at his rampaging best in South Africa © Getty Images
Julian Savea has been recalled to the Hurricanes team to face the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, the Wellington team's first match in South Africa this season.
Savea missed the Hurricanes' Super Rugby round 11 loss to the Stormers, the All Blacks winger standing down after he was remanded on bail after facing one charge of assault following a domestic incident.
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett says including Savea wasn't a difficult decision.
"Obviously he's been the form winger in the competition in some respects, so that was an easy one," he said. "But we need a collective big effort against the Bulls - it won't just be Jules, it'll be the collective group."
Hammett knows exactly what to expect from the South African conference-leading Bulls. With accuracy at the line-outs, intensity at the breakdown, a dauntingly effective rolling maul and a white-hot home atmosphere at Loftus Versfeld, the Bulls present intimidating opponents.
Discipline will be also be key for the Hurricanes, with eagle-eyed five-eighth Morne Steyne's accuracy bound to punish any misdemeanours.
"They're not going to change a lot, but what they do, they do very well and they do it at good intensity," Hammett said on Thursday. "We've got to try and shut down the set piece, and certainly shut down those first launches they have ... If we can get them kicking, that should be a win."
The Hurricanes will continue a 5/2 split on the bench, with Reggie Goodes and Jack Lam returned to the 22.
Hurricanes: Andre Taylor; Alapati Leiua, Conrad Smith (captain), Tusi Pisi, Julian Savea; Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara; Victor Vito, Karl Lowe, Brad Shields; Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush; Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Ash Dixon, Ben Franks. Replacements: Reggie Goodes, Ben May, Mark Reddish, Faifili Levave, Jack Lam, Chris Smylie, Tim Bateman
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker