Canes skipper touch and go while Whiteley fit for Lions

Ricky Riccitelli is pencilled in to start once again if his captain is not cleared to play

Emirates Lions Captain Warren Whiteley. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Hurricanes captain Dane Coles has once again been bracketed for Saturday's Super Rugby final against the Lions in Wellington.

If Coles is deemed fit to play he would be the only change to the team that beat the Chiefs in the semifinal win last weekend.

Ricky Riccitelli is pencilled in to start once again if his captain is not cleared to play, Riccitelli deputised last week against the Chiefs.

Openside Callum Gibbins, who missed the semifinal with an Achilles injury, has once again been bracketed with Tony Lamborn, while prop Reggie Goodes has also been bracketed with Mike Kainga as he continues to work through concussion protocols.

Canes head coach Chris Boyd says they taking a similar approach to last week regarding his premier hooker.

"Colesy has made good progress each day and clearly he's very keen to play in the final. He will do everything he can to be fit for kick-off and if he doesn't make it then we have every confidence Ricky and Leni step up and do a good job if required."

The Lions meanwhile have included their captain and number eight Warren Whiteley in their starting line-up after struggling with injury for the week.

While fans in Wellington are undoubtedly excited for the grand final with 36,500 fans expected to pack into the Westpac Stadium.

Both teams come into the match off the back of convincing displays in their respective semifinals eager to claim their first ever Super Rugby title. The 'Canes scored three tries in beating the Chiefs 25-9 in Wellington, while the Lions beat last year's champions the Highlanders 42-30 in Johannesburg.

The home side will be appearing in their third final, their first was in 2006 in Christchurch while Saturday will be their second consecutive one at home.

The South African outfit will take part in their first ever final and if they are to win in Wellington they would be the first South African franchise since the Bulls in 2010 to win the title.

Matchday squads:


15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Jason Woodward, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles (captain)/Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Loni Uhila

Substitutes: 16 Ricky Riccitelli/Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Mike Kainga/Reggie Goodes, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Callum Gibbins/Tony Lambourn, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Vince Aso, 23 Julian Savea


15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5, Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylon Smith

Substitutes: 16 Armand 'Akker' van der Merwe, 17 Corner Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Ruan Ackermann, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Jaco van der Walt