Aso makes way for Laumape at Hurricanes

Ngani Laumape joins the Hurricanes' midfield, tipping out Vince Aso for the game against the Lions

The depth at the Hurricanes' disposal has been underlined again as two-try hero Vince Aso makes way for their Super Rugby clash with the Lions.

Aso scored a double and was denied twice more by the TMO as a scratchy Hurricanes cast aside the Sunwolves 43-15 last week.

However, the dynamic midfielder has been dropped for Saturday's clash against the South African conference leaders in Wellington, with Ngani Laumape restored in the midfield.

There's also no starting place again for All Blacks winger Nehe Milner-Skudder, who's on the bench in his second appearance since returning from seven months sidelined by a shoulder injury.

Coach Chris Boyd also has a glut of options up front, where No.8 Gareth Evans, lock Vaea Fifita and prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen are restored.

Their two main absentees are still hooker-captain Dane Coles and halfback TJ Perenara, with knee injuries.

The Hurricanes, the only team to suffer just one loss this season, are favoured to beat a Lions side who have lost four times, including last week's setback against the Queensland Reds.

The teams met in the 2016 decider, which the Hurricanes won, but the Lions gained revenge in last year's semi-final in Johannesburg.

Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett, Julian Savea, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, Finlay Christie, Gareth Evans, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields (capt), Michael Fatialofa, Vaea Fifita, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Toby Smith.

Reserves: James O'Reilly, Chris Eves, Ben May, Sam Lousi, Reed Prinsep, Jamie Booth, Ihaia West, Nehe Milner-Skudder.