Hurricanes back new centres to shine

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has backed new centre pairing Ngani Laumape and Vince Aso to rise to the occasion on Friday against the Brumbies.

The young duo have big shoes to fill as they take over the Hurricanes' 12 and 13 jerseys from All Blacks stars Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith.

Laumape has switched back from spending time in the NRL playing Rugby League for the New Zealand Warriors.

Aso on the other hand has earned his spot after impressing in the ITM Cup for Auckland.

Despite their inexperience at this level, both will be surrounded by a number of New Zealand stars in the Hurricanes' backline against the Brumbies in Canberra, with TJ Perenara captaining the side as Laumape and Aso link up with Beauden Barrett, Julian Savea, Cory Jane and Nehe Milner-Skudder.

"I think they've probably been the best performing players over the pre-season – it's a combination that we're excited about," Boyd told NZ Newswire.

"They have similar traits to the people they're taking over from.

"Ngani's a good ball carrier, and Vince had a really good ITM Cup with Auckland – he's a highly competent player."