Super Rugby 2019: Week two preview

Just the one New Zealand derby is the feature of the second Super Rugby round of 2019.

The Hurricanes travel to Christchurch on Saturday night hoping to upset the Crusaders who just did enough to repel the challenge of the Blues in the opening weekend.

With no Beauden Barrett, coach John Plumtree has also relegated halfback TJ Perenara to the bench as part of the All Blacks rest and recovery policy. The Hurricanes are also without Ardie Savea who has the week off, meaning a tough challenge for the loose forward trio comprising of Gareth Evans, Du Plessis Kirifi and Reed Prinsep.

Super Rugby 2019: Week two preview

But there is a silver lining for the side based in the capital. Dane Coles will start a Super Rugby match for the first time since 2017.

The Crusaders have made just the one change to the run-on side from Eden Park. Fresh from a week off, Jack Goodhue replaces the impressive Braydon Ennor in the midfield.

The Chiefs will be desperate to bounce back from a disappointing first-up loss to the Highlanders. Colin Cooper's side travels to Canberra on Saturday night to take on the Brumbies knowing a loss will see them playing catchup early in the season.

The good news? Damian Mckenzie has recovered from a minor injury complaint and will start in the number 10 jersey while Brodie Retallick will play his 100th Super Rugby game for the Chiefs.

The Blues are in Durban on a revenge mission. The Sharks humiliated the rebuilding franchise a year ago in Auckland, a result that effectively ruled them out of playoff contention.

Leon MacDonald has made a few key personnel changes for the Sunday morning clash, resting Ma'a Nonu meaning a starting role for Sonny Bill Williams.

All Blacks Karl Tu'inukuafe and Ofa Tu'ungafasi come off the bench into the matchday XV, while Caleb Clarke will start on the wing with Melani Nanai set to wear the 15 jersey, replacing Michael Collins.

Opening up the round will be the Highlanders who welcome back Aaron Smith and Waisake Naholo into their run-on side for their Friday night match with the Reds.

International Jackson Hemopo moves from blindside flanker to lock, making way for fellow All Black Shannon Frizell, with a third NZ performer - Dillon Hunt - promoted to the number seven jersey.


Joins us for live updates from 7:30pm Friday night as the Highlanders host the Reds in Dunedin.

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