Super Rugby Aotearoa: Week four team announcements

  • Updated
  • 18/03/2021

Official team lists and injury news for this week's round of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Hurricanes v Chiefs

7:05pm, Saturday, March 19

Sky Stadium, Wellington

The Hurricanes have named Orbyn Leger to start in his franchise debut at first-five against the Chiefs in Super Rugby Aotearoa on Saturday.

Leger, 24, takes the No.10 jersey with regular first-fives Jackson Garden-Bachop (Achilles) and Simon Hickey (knee) out injured, while coach Jason Holland has resisted the urge to move Jordie Barrett out of fullback.

"He's been training with us at 10," Holland says of Leger. "He's had a good week and has dominated things, [we're] looking forward to seeing [him] go.

"He's an attack-minded player, which we obviously like. He's a really good kicker of the ball and will be a good threat at the line."

Elsewhere, the trio of Luke Campbell, Salesi Rayasi and Billy Proctor all start, after coming off the bench in the loss to the Crusaders earlier this month. 

In their place, Jonathan Taumateine, Peter Umaga-Jensen and Wes Goosen all drop to the bench.

Both the Hurricanes and their opponents are winless in 2021, with the two sides’ records reading 0/2 this season. 

Hurricanes: 1-Xavier Numia, 2-Ricky Riccitelli, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-James Blackwell, 5-Isaiah Walker-Leawere, 6-Reed Prinsep, 7-Du’Plessis Kirifi, 8-Ardie Savea (c), 9. Luke Campbell, 10-Orbyn Leger, 11-Salesi Rayasi, 12-Ngani Laumape, 13-Billy Proctor, 14-Julian Savea, 15-Jordie Barrett

Reserves: 16-James O’Reilly, 17-Fraser Armstrong, 18-Tevita Mafileo, 19-Liam Mitchell, 20-Devan Flanders, 21-Jonathan Taumateine, 22-Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23-Wes Goosen. 

The Chiefs have rung the changes in their hunt for a drought-ending win. 

Winless in 11 games, coach Clayton McMillan has made five changes to his starting line-up. 

Prop Aidan Ross and lock Naitoa Ah Kuoi have been promoted to the starting pack, while in the backs, first-five Kaleb Trask makes his first start of the season.

Anton Lienert-Brown returns at centre, while winger Jonah Lowe fills the right flank.

After last week's defeat to the Crusaders - the Chiefs' 11th in succession - the Waikato side could overtake the Highlanders of 2012-13 as the holders of New Zealand's longest Super Rugby losing streak with another loss. 

Chiefs: 1-Aidan Ross, 2-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3-Angus Ta'avao, 4-Tupou Vaa'i, 5-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 6-Mitchell Brown, 7-Sam Cane (cc), 8-Luke Jacobson, 9-Brad Weber (cc), 10-Kaleb Trask, 11-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12-Quinn Tupaea, 13-Anton Lienert-Brown, 14-Jonah Lowe, 15-Damian McKenzie.

Reserves: 16-Bradley Slater, 17-Ollie Norris, 18-Joe Apikotoa, 19-Samipeni Finau, 20-Simon Parker, 21-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22-Alex Nankivell, 23-Chase Tiatia.

Blues v Crusaders

3:35pm, Sunday March 20

Eden Park, Auckland

The Blues have made five changes to their starting side for the blockbuster clash against the Crusaders.

Coach Leon MacDonald has swapped two All Blacks props for two more with Alex Hodgman and Nepo Laulala starting in place of Karl Tu'inukuafe and Ofa Tuungafasi who drop to the bench. 

Josh Goodhue will partner captain Patrick Tuipulotu in the second row while Blake Gibson comes in for Dalton Papalii who misses out with concision for the encounter at Eden Park. 

The sole change in the backline sees Mark Telea - who also misses out with concussion - replaced by Bryce Heem who returns to New Zealand after five years overseas. 

Blues: 1-Alex Hodgman, 2-Luteru Tolai, 3-Nepo Laulala, 4-Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 5-Josh Goodhue 6-Akira Ioane, 7-Blake Gibson, 8-Hoskins Sotutu, 9-Jonathan Ruru, 10-Otere Black, 11-Caleb Clarke, 12-Harry Plummer, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Bryce Heem, 15-Stephen Perofeta

Reserves: 16-Kurt Eklund, 17-Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18-Ofa Tuungafasi, 19-Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20-Tom Robinson, 21-Adrian Choat, 22-Finley Christie, 23-TJ Faiane

The Crusaders have made just the two changes for their top-of-the-table clash against the Blues on Sunday afternoon. 

Both changes come in the forwards with All Blacks prop Joe Moody promoted from the bench in place of George Bower who drops to the reserves. 

Crusaders prop Joe Moody
Crusaders prop Joe Moody Photo credit: Photosport

The other change sees Ethan Blackadder come in for Tom Christie who dislocated his shoulder last weekend against the Chiefs. Blackadder will start blindside flanker while Sione Havili Talitui moves to openside flanker. 

Tighthead prop Oliver Jager returns to the side after recovering from an ankle injury to take his place in the reserves

Crusaders: 1-Joe Moody, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Michael Alaalatoa, 4-Scott Barrett (c), 5-Samuel Whitelock, 6-Ethan Blackadder 7-Sione Havili Talitui, 8-Cullen Grace, 9-Bryn Hall, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-Leicester Fainga’anuku, 12-David Havili, 13-Jack Goodhue, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-Will Jordan

Reserves: 16-Brodie McAlister, 17-George Bower, 18-Oliver Jager 19-Mitchell Dunshea, 20-Whetukamokamo Douglas, 21-Mitchell Drummond, 22-Fergus Burke, 23-Dallas McLeod

More to come.