Lam returns for Chiefs trip

12 July 2018 03:26:29 EST
Julian Savea

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has brought winger Ben Lam back for Friday's trip to Hamilton to face the Chiefs.

Lam, who is Super Rugby's leading tryscorer this season, missed out last weekend when the Wellington franchise beat the Blues 42-24.

Boyd says he regards Julian Savea, who's off to France at the end of the season, as being the player with the better recent form.

But he's named him on the bench this time while Lam will play on the left wing in a game that's a dress rehearsal for next weekend's quarter-finals.

Julian's made way and Ben comes back in and he gets a chance to stake a claim.

Chris Boyd

"On balance, our best winger in the last month or so has probably Julian and so we've given Ben and [right wing] Nehe an opportunity this week," said Boyd.

"Julian's made way and Ben comes back in and he gets a chance to stake a claim."

The Hurricanes have retained Wes Goosen at centre after a reasonable showing against the Blues, while tighthead prop Jeff To'omaga-Allen is recalled for what will be his 100th Hurricanes appearance.

Vaea Fifita, who has already missed games with two bouts of concussion and shoulder bruising, is out with a toe injury.

That means the Hurricanes will go into the game without a specialist lock on the bench.

Ben May drops to the bench due to To'omaga-Allen's return, while Chris Eves replaces Fraser Armstrong as the reserve loosehead prop and Finlay Christie takes over from Jamie Booth as the reserve halfback.

Speaking of Fifita, Boyd said: "He hasn't had a lot of constant football for us in the last six or eight weeks, but he's a hell of an athlete and we'd hope that he'll come right."

The Hurricanes are 47/100 to beat the Chiefs, who are 17/10. The Chiefs are 89/100 with a 4.5-points start.

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