A hamstring problem has sidelined him as the defending champions look to make a positive start to the new campaign.

It means Jordie Barrett is likely to come in for his debut at fullback.

Milner-Skudder, who missed most of last season after shoulder surgery, made his return to action in pre-season. Coach Chris Boyd said both he and prop Loni Uhila (calf) might have been considered had the game been at home.

“But to sit on a long haul flight with a muscle injury like that was probably not a great idea,” added Boyd.

“It’s a long season, so we decided the prudent move was to leave them at home and get them 100 per cent right for our first home game against the Rebels in two weeks’ time.”

Boyd has named all five of the franchise’s current All Blacks in the 25-man squad, including Barrett’s older brother Beauden.

International experience also comes in the form of Dane Coles, TJ Perenara and brothers Ardie and Julian Savea.

It’s a long season, so we decided the prudent move was to leave them at home and get them 100 per cent right for our first home game against the Rebels in two weeks’ time.

Three uncapped forwards are in the squad – loose forward Reed Prinsep, lock James Blackwell, and hooker James O’Reilly.

O’Reilly, the former New Zealand Under 20s hooker, has been called up as the third choice in the tour squad due to a niggling hamstring injury to Leni Apisai.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are to lose Callum Gibbins at the end of the season.

The 28-year-old has signed for Glasgow and will leave after seeing out the campaign with the Wellington side and playing for Manawatu in the National Provincial Championship.

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Milner-Skudder misses Tokyo trip
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Nehe Milner-Skudder has been ruled out of the Hurricanes' Super Rugby opener against the Sunwolves in Tokyo.
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Best Bet News
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