Waratah's Freier fit to play Hurricanes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratah's Freier fit to play Hurricanes

By Sam Broun 12/02/2009 05:00:14 PM Comments (0)

Wallaby hooker Adam Freier has been passed fit in a timely boost for the NSW Waratahs ahead of their Super 14 clash with the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

Freier's experience and toughness will be a valuable asset off the bench for a rebuilding Waratahs' pack against a Hurricanes front row boasting All Blacks props Neemia Tialata and John Schwalger.

He had been in doubt since injuring a hamstring in the final trial game against the Brumbies last Friday.

"You slog it out pretty hard in the pre-season and you're itching to get that first round match under your belt so I'm glad I've got through this niggle and am good to go for Saturday," Freier said.

The Hurricanes on Thursday named versatile Tamati Ellison to play at outside centre in place of injured All Black Conrad Smith and he will have his hands full opposing the Waratahs young livewire Rob Horne.

Waratahs playmaker Kurtley Beale will find himself up against All Blacks halfback Piri Weepu who has been preferred at five eighth ahead of specialists Willie Ripia and Daniel Kirkpatrick.

Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper opened the door for Alby Mathewson - a late All Blacks tour call-up last year - at halfback, hoping he and Weepu can repeat their sparkling form for Wellington in last year's national championship campaign.

The Hurricanes team captained by Rodney S'oialo at No 8 includes nine Grand Slam-winning All Blacks who toured Hong Kong and Europe last year.

It also has four players uncapped at Super 14 level, all in the pack.

That includes both hookers - the starting Dane Coles and reserve Ged Robinson - while reserve loose forwards Karl Lowe and Api Naikatini could also make their debuts.

Four others who have previously played for other sides have also been named, including reserve winger David Smith who played for the Hurricanes in 2007 and the Blues in 2008.

The starting pack features two first-time Hurricanes in lock Bryn Evans, who played for the Blues last year, and blindside flanker Faifili Levave, who was a Chief in 2008.

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