The Hurricanes are hoping that scrum specialist Mike Cron will be able to galvanise their youthful pack into a force to be reckoned with in Super Rugby this season.
Although he stepped down from his role with the All Blacks after their victorious World Cup campaign last year Cron has been lured back to the national set-up as well as committing to spending at least one day a week with the Hurricanes.
The Wellington-based franchise have lost seasoned campaigners in Neemia Tialata, John Schwalger and Andrew Hore and are expected to rely on former Chiefs prop Ben May and the promising Michael Bent in the front row this year, but they will also be watching the development of young props Jeff Allen and Reg Goodes with interest and it is in this area that Cron is expected to make a serious impact.
The Hurricanes pack could be without powerful loose forward Karl Lowe for the early part of the season after he suffered a knee injury during training .
Coach Mark Hammett explained that Lowe is due to have surgery on the knee and may be on the sidelines for up to six weeks.
It is a cruel blow for Lowe who missed the whole of last season through injury as well and his place at openside flank is expected to be taken by Jack Lam once more.
In the backline Samoan flyhalf Tusi Pisi is not expected back from Japan until after the first three weeks of the Super Rugby season as his club has qualified for the finals series which means that young playmakers Beauden Barrett and Daniel Kirckpatrick will be vying for the No.10 jersey at the start of the season.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
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Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.