Milner-Skudder named in squad to face Sunwolves

Nehe Milner-Skudder's long awaited return to rugby will come via the bench on Friday night after he was named in the Hurricanes squad to face the Sunwolves at Westpac Stadium.

The All Blacks wing has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder in October and is part of a strong Hurricanes line-up selected by head coach Chris Boyd for the Super Rugby match.

Halfback Finlay Christie will make his debut for the Hurricanes and will have plenty of experience outside him with Beauden Barrett starting inside an exciting midfield pairing of Vince Aso and Matt Proctor.

Boyd has opted to make some changes in the pack from the squad who beat the Chiefs a fortnight earlier with Ben May coming in for Jeff Toomaga-Allen while Reed Prinsep comes into the loose forward mix with captain Brad Shields moving to No 8 as Gareth Evans, who has started every match, moves to the bench.

Ardie Savea, who was injured against the Highlanders in March, has been bracketed with Sam Henwood who has recovered from a head knock he suffered early against the Chiefs.

Experienced wing Julian Savea also returns to the starting XV after he missed the Chiefs match and will be joined at the back by the competition's leading try scorer Ben Lam and in-form Jordie Barrett.

There is plenty of quality on the bench which will feature the return of Milner-Skudder from a long-term shoulder injury while Jackson Garden-Bachop replaces Ihaia West.

Second five-eighth Ngani Laumape and lock Vaea Fifita have been given the week off.