Dane Coles

Coles back, Savea out for Hurricanes

All Blacks hooker Coles will make his first start in more than four months in what will be his 100th game for the Hurricanes when he leads them on to Ellis Park to face the Lions on Sunday morning.

Having finally shaken off the concussion symptoms that ruled him out of the Test series against the British and Irish Lions, Coles returned off the bench against the Brumbies in Canberra last week.

He impressed in the 35-16 quarter-final win and pushes Ricky Riccitelli to the bench, while reclaiming the captain's armband from TJ Perenara.

Coles likely starter for semi-final

Coles has been out of the game since March, but played 30 minutes off the bench against the Brumbies last weekend.

Assistant coach John Plumtree says he's recovered well from that game.

"He's good to go - there's a good chance you'll see him start he's got his spark back and obviously it's a big game for him and a big game for the club this weekend."

It would be Coles' 100th Super Rugby game if he takes the field.

Meanwhile midfielder Vince Aso is also expected to return to the starting lineup after missing the quarter-final through injury.

Coles, Jane and Fifita set to return

Hearts were in mouths as the Hurricanes loose forward lay prone on Suncorp Stadium, having taken the ball into contact during Saturday's 34-15 win over the Reds. He was eventually helped from the field and diagnosed with a calf injury.

That's better than a knee or ankle, assuming the strain is as minor as the Hurricanes have suggested.

"He's pulled up pretty well considering what he looked like when he was on the ground there. He's got a niggly calf and he'd be pretty doubtful for this week," Hurricanes backs coach Jason Holland said on Monday afternoon.

Nehe Milner-Skudder back as All Blacks boost Hurricanes

Fresh off their 83-17 demolition of the Sunwolves in Tokyo, the Hurricanes host the Rebels in Wellington on Saturday.
 
The star trio are among four changes to the starting XV. The other sees Reed Prinsep come in at No 8 to for the injured Blade Thomson.
 
Hurricanes hooker and captain Coles and first-five Barrett swap places with Ricky Riccitelli and Otere Black respectively after coming off the bench in Tokyo.

All Blacks hooker named Wellingtonian of the Year

 The award was announced in Wellington on Thursday night.

Coles led the Hurricanes to the Super Rugby title this year, ending 21 winless years for the Wellington based franchise.

Coles, 29, was also a member of the All Blacks 2015 World Cup winning side and is currently away with the side on their end of year European tour.

Coles and Hurricane and All Black teammate Beauden Barrett are also among the contenders for the World Rugby Player of the Year, with the winner to be announced in London.

Photo: Photosport

Signs not good for Coles

RNZ reports Coles, who came off in the his side's quarter final win over the Sharks last weekend with a rib injury has been bracketed in the starting lineup with Ricky Riccitelli

He took little part in the Hurricanes training today and avoided any contact work.

Coles has been bracketed with Ricky Riccitelli in an otherwise unchanged Hurricanes starting lineup which means All Black winger Julian Savea remains in the reserves, with Jason Woodward again starting on the left wing.