Hurricanes wing Nehe Milner-Skudder believes they have named the strongest possible squad to take on the British & Irish Lions tomorrow night at Westpac Stadium. The team has also been boosted by the return of four All Blacks released by Steve Hansen for this match.
It's a strong Hurricanes team on paper, but it's an even stronger opposition.
Milner-Skudder says, “I think they've sort of grown leaps and bounds from that first hit-out against the Barbarians a few weeks ago.
Tighthead prop Jeffery To'omaga Allen will need to fix up his scrummaging. If not, then he is in for a difficult night against Englishman Joe Marley.
“That's always on the ref, to be honest. You see it in Super Rugby, me and the ref every week have a different opinion. That's just normal. We've just got to adapt to how the ref plays the game,” says To’omaga-Allen.
The Hurricanes are also boosted by the return of All Blacks Julian Savea, Ngani Laumape, Jordie Barrett, and Vaea Fifita.
The former Fullback turned winger says, “To have those guys back from being in camp with the All Blacks, they're pretty fizzing just seeing them this morning.”
The boys from the capital are the only New Zealand Super Rugby side yet to face an international team. For many of their players, it's an opportunity that does not come around often.
“This Hurricanes team means a heck of a lot to me, as a young fella growing up, wanting to play for them is huge. I know reflecting back on 2005 when the Lions came over, and sort of how big that was for rugby,” says Milner-Skudder (Ngāti Porou, Tapuika).
The weather is expected to hold up come kick-off time. If so, then you can expect the Hurricanes to take their chances and run the ball.