WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Two-times World Player of the year Beauden Barrett will make his first Super Rugby appearance of the season when the Wellington Hurricanes take on the ACT Brumbies on Friday but his younger brother Jordie has been left out of the side.
The elder Barrett got married in the off-season and only returned to the Hurricanes last week after having an extended break. He told reporters last week he had negotiated a late return because of the World Cup in Japan later in the year.
The flyhalf had been keen to play in last weekend's 38-22 defeat to defending champions Canterbury Crusaders but coach John Plumtree decided to wait another week before bringing him into the side.
Fullback Jordie, who played the full 80 minutes in each of the Hurricanes first two games, was left out of the side. All Blacks players are limited to 180 minutes of playing time in the first three weeks of the season.
All Blacks blindside flanker Vaea Fifita will make his first appearance following a slow return from a hamstring injury. He managed to play 50 minutes for the Hurricanes' development side last week.
Fellow loose forward Ardie Savea, who missed the Crusaders game, has shifted to number eight from his usual openside flanker role with Gareth Evans sidelined with a calf injury.
Plumtree said on Wednesday his team must improve against the Brumbies, who have been labelled one-dimensional in recent years with a reliance on a driving maul but enjoyed a scintillating 54-17 win over the Waikato Chiefs in Canberra last Saturday.
"It was a bit of a surprise for them to put 50 (past the Chiefs)," Hurricanes winger Ben Lam told reporters on Wednesday.
"But we know they have the personnel (to do that) and ... any team with that kind of personnel will do that on their day."
Lam, who scored two tries for the Hurricanes in the second half against the Crusaders, said it was a big week for his side.
"This competition is all about momentum," he added.
"Coming off the back of a loss we want to bounce back, not only with a good performance but a win as well to build that momentum back up."
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford)