Pair miss Crusaders trip

21 February 2019 05:39:24 EST
Beauden Barrett

Ardie Savea is missing along with Beauden Barrett from the Hurricanes side to face the Crusaders in Christchurch.

The Wellington side have kept Barrett on the sidelines for the round two clash, after he only returned from his honeymoon on Monday.

Ardie has a long season ahead so I just gave him a week off.

John Longtree

The All Blacks first-five had indicated he was keen to play against the defending champions on Saturday, but he was omitted from the matchday 23.

It will serve as one of the two games he must miss during the Super Rugby season, as part of the five Kiwi franchises' agreement with New Zealand Rugby.

Savea is out with a minor knee tweak, after the Hurricanes used him for the full 80 minutes of their win away to the Waratahs last weekend.

The NZR agreement restricts teams from playing All Blacks for more than 60 minutes in week one, or 180 minutes total across the first three games.

The Hurricanes have relegated All Blacks TJ Perenara and Ngani Laumape to the bench, while Dane Coles and Jordie Barrett both start at hooker and fullback respectively.

Perenara and Laumape were others besides Savea to exceed the 60-minute limit in the opening round.

Coach John Plumtree said it was difficult to negotiate the protocols, but that the idea was sound.

"Some players don't see it as important as the coaches and New Zealand [Rugby] do, but we get on with it and we adjust and we work towards making sure the players' welfare is the best it can be," he added.

Speaking of Savea, Plumtree said: "Ardie had a full game last week and then reported a little MCL [knee] strain after the game, so it was easy for me to say 'well I've got two good other sevens that can do a job for us'. Ardie has a long season ahead so I just gave him a week off."

The Hurricanes are 15/4 to win the Super Rugby final.

The Hurricanes are 3/1 to win their next game against the Crusaders, who are 1/4.

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