Laumape ‘pumped’ for Lions
Ngani Laumape has changed; at least a little bit.
As expected, Laumape and fellow All Blacks Julian Savea, Jordie Barrett and Vaea Fifita were released from their national duties, to appear for the Hurricanes in Tuesday’s match against the British and Irish Lions.
The Hurricanes had known for a week that the quartet were coming, provided no-one broke down during Saturday’s first test at Eden Park. Injuries to All Blacks Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty threatened to scupper that plan. But Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd got a text to say the foursome were still coming and they joined the Super Rugby team for a Sunday gym session.
‘‘Ngani had his top off in the gym and you can see that he’s been doing a lot of work over the past week,’’ wing Nehe MilnerSkudder joked.
Between Laumape, MilnerSkudder, Savea, Jordie Barrett and Vince Aso, the Hurricanes have the makings of a terrific backline. But Boyd says the set piece will be crucial.