Record-seeking Perenara in for Roigard as 'Canes face Chiefs test

rugby10 April 2024 07:53| © AFP
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TJ Perenara © Gallo Images

Record-seeking TJ Perenara was on Wednesday named to start at scrum-half in place of the injured Cam Roigard for the Hurricanes who face a huge challenge to their unbeaten Super Rugby record against the Chiefs at the weekend.

The 23-year-old Roigard has been sidelined for at least six months by a knee injury suffered in the win at the Highlanders two weeks ago.

Fellow All Black Perenara, 32, scored his 60th Super Rugby try in the match against the Highlanders, leaving him just one short of the record set last month by Moana Pasifika wing Julian Savea.

The all-New Zealand blockbuster on Saturday pits the Hurricanes, who have six straight victories, against a visiting Chiefs side that battered Moana Pasifika 68-12 last weekend for a fifth win in seven outings.

"It's going to be a massive battle," Hurricanes head coach Clark Laidlaw said Wednesday as he named his team and acknowledged the threat posed by the visiting Chiefs, who have the in-form All Blacks fly-half Damian McKenzie orchestrating their attack.

"There's the obvious threat around him and how well he's been playing, so we're expecting the hardest game of the year," Laidlaw added.

All Blacks lock Tupou Vaa'i will make his 50th Super Rugby appearance in a powerful Chiefs forward pack.

Otago head coach Clayton McMillan said the Chiefs would be excited "to test ourselves against a side that are statistically the dominant team in the competition".