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Formed to represent the lower north island in 1996, the Hurricanes are the defending Super Rugby champions who count great names such as Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Jerry Collins and Jonah Lomu among their alumni.

They finished top of the regular season table in Super Rugby for the first time in their history in 2015 and at full strength could boast an All Black in every position across the back-line. It all went so perfectly until the very last act as the Highlanders pulled off one of the great upsets to topple them in the final in their own backyard.

But they bounced back in 2016 – with All Blacks Dane Coles and Beauden Barrett to the fore – to blitz all in their path on the way to a maiden Super Rugby crown.

The start to the defence of their title this year has looked equally impressive, they racked up a combined 24 tries in just the first two rounds of games.

Under the guidance of Chris Boyd, the Wellington-based side – who play their home games at the Westpac Stadium – are packed full of All Blacks past, present and future.

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Jordie Barrett – younger brother of Beauden – has come to the fore in 2017 while Ngani Laumape and Vince Aso are the two top try scorers in Super Rugby this year.

And that is without mentioning the prolific Julian Savea on the left wing nor flanker Ardie Savea and scrum-half TJ Perenara who will be hoping to take on the Lions in the Test series.

The Hurricanes may not have faced the Lions before but the tourists have had many a battle with Wellington as a provincial side.

Wellington claimed victory back in 1966 but then the famous 1971 Lions put them to the sword in a 47-9 victory ahead of the historic Test series win.

Most recently the two faced off on the 1983 Tour with the Lions emerging with a narrow 27-19 victory.

To view the Official Hurricanes website, click here.

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