Brad Shields, Jordie Barrett return for table-leading Hurricanes

rugby20 March 2024 04:40| © AFP
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Jordie Barrett @ Getty Images

Ex-England flanker Brad Shields and All Blacks centre Jordie Barrett will return for the Hurricanes when the Super Rugby leaders host the mid-table Melbourne Rebels on Friday.

New Zealand-born Shields, 32, missed the start of the season with a foot injury.

He captains the Hurricanes for the first time in six years, having rejoined in 2023 after playing for English club Wasps and French side Perpignan. He made nine test appearances for England.

"It's really good to have Brad back," the Hurricanes' Scottish head coach Clark Laidlaw said on Wednesday.

"He's itching to get started after training fully now for a couple of weeks. He not only provides a strong running and defensive game, but exceptional leadership as well."

Barrett rejoins the starting side after serving a suspension for a high tackle in the win over the Reds in early March. His centre partner Ngane Punivai makes his Hurricanes debut.

The Hurricanes are chasing a fifth straight win at the start of the season.