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Friday Jul 3, 2015

Hurricanes vs Highlanders Super Rugby 2015 Final preview

The Super Rugby final between Highlanders and Hurricanes kicks off tomorrow and it promises to be an exciting, fast-paced, high-intensity, full-blooded affair. 

The two teams faced each other in Round 17 with the ‘Canes running out easy 56-20 winners, but tomorrow night’s final will be different.

Highlanders field the same side that beat the Waratahs 35-17 and are in to the final thanks to their dogged forwards, the calmness and vision of Aaron Smith and Lima Sopoaga, and the clinical play of Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and the underappreciated Patrick Osbourne.

The Hurricanes meanwhile have blitzed everything in their path, bar the Tahs and Crusaders. Beauden Barrett has returned from injury to steer the ship while Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Nehe Milner-Skudder and James Marshall look to score every time they touch the ball.

Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith will have an emotional night as he plays his last game for the franchise before he moves to Pau in the summer.

Kick off is at 19.35 (07:35 GMT, 08:35 BST) on Saturday in Wellington.

You can view the best bits from each side’s semi finals in the video below

Hurricanes team:
1.Reggie Goodes, 2.Dane Coles, 3.Ben Franks, 4.Jeremy Thrush, 5.James Broadhurst, 6.Brad Shields, 7.Ardie Savea/Callum Gibbins, 8.Victor Vito, 9.TJ Perenara, 10.Beauden Barrett, 11.Julian Savea, 12.Ma’a Nonu, 13.Conrad Smith (c), 14.Nehe Milner-Skudder, 15.James Marshall Reserves: 16.Motu Matu’u, 17.Chris Eves, 18.Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19.Callum Gibbins/Mark Abbott, 20.Blade Thomson, 21.Chris Smylie, 22.Rey Lee-Lo, 23.Matt Proctor

Highlanders team:
1. Brendon Edmonds, 2. Liam Coltman, 3. Josh Hohneck, 4. Alex Ainley, 5. Mark Reddish, 6. Elliot Dixon, 7. James Lentjes, 8. Nasi Manu (co-captain), 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Lima Sopoaga, 11. Patrick Osborne, 12. Richard Buckman, 13. Malakai Fekitoa, 14. Waisake Naholo, 15. Ben Smith (co-captain) Reserves: 16. Ash Dixon 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown  18. Ross Geldenhuys  19. Joe Wheeler 20. Gareth Evans 21. Shane Christie 22. Fumiaki Tanaka 23. Marty Banks

Who do you think will win and by how much?

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