‘Canes strengthen pack

Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper has made two changes for his side’s Vodacom Super 14 against the Force in New Plymouth on Saturday.

Cooper has brought in loosehead prop John Schwalger and veteran lock Paul Tito as he has reshuffled the pack to face John Mitchell’s side.

Schwalger slots in for Joe McDonnell who drops out of the 22 altogether and Tito gets the start on his home ground with Luke Andrews dropping back to the bench.

The only other change is an injury-enforced one in the backline, with flyer Hosea Gear earning a start due to the calf/achilles strain suffered by All Black captain Tana Umaga against the Blues.

Ma’a Nonu, who slotted in to Umaga’s position midway through the second half at Eden Park after starting on the wing, gets the nod this week in the No 12 jersey.

Hurricanes team to play Force:

15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Lome Fa’atau, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Piri Weepu; 8 Rodney So’oialo (c) 7 Chris Masoe, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Paul Titi, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 John Schwalger.
Subs: 16 Luke Mahoney, 17 Tim Fairbrother, 18 Luke Andrews, 19 Thomas Waldrom, 30 Brendan Haami, 21 Tamati Ellison, 22 Tane Tu’ipulotu.