Super Rugby Aotearoa: Week Seven team announcements

  • 08/04/2021

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

Highlanders v Chiefs

7pm, Saturday, April 10

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

The Highlanders have welcomed back two of six suspended players to face the Chiefs on Saturday.

Patelesio Tomkinson will start at centre for Tony Brown's side, while Josh Ioane will come off the bench, after missing the 33-12 win over the Crusaders last weekend for disciplinary reasons.

Another of the suspended six - prop Daniel Lienert-Brown - is unavailable with an arm injury.

Elsewhere, Scott Gregory moves from the wing into second-five, with Thomas Umaga-Jensen out for the rest of the season with a wrist injury.

Aaron Smith starts as co-captain from halfback, after the impressive Folau Fakatava also had his season ended by a knee injury.

James Lentjes and Josh Hohneck start at openside flanker and tighthead prop respectively, replacing Billy Harmon and Siate Tokolahi. 

Highlanders: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Ash Dixon (cc), 3-Josh Hohneck, 4-Bryn Evans, 5-Paripari Parkinson, 6-Shannon Frizell, 7-James Lentjes, 8-Kazuki Himeno, 9-Aaron Smith (cc), 10-Mitch Hunt, 11-Jona Nareki, 12-Scott Gregory, 13-Patelesio Tomkinson, 14-Ngatungane Punivai, 15-Connor Garden-Bachop

Reserves: 16-Liam Coltman, 17-Ayden Johnstone, 18-Siate Tokolahi, 19-Josh Dixon, 20-Billy Harmon, 21-Kayne Hammington, 22-Josh Ioane, 23-Hugh Renton.

Mitchell Brown will celebrate his 50th Super Rugby match, starting in the No.6 jersey for the Chiefs against the Highlanders on Saturday, while All Blacks lock Tupou Vaa'i also returns to the side.

Coach Clayton McMillan has named his strongest possible side to face the Highlanders, who're coming off a shock 33-12 victory over the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Kaylum Boshier starts in the No.7 jersey in place of injured All Blacks captain Sam Cane, while Vaa'i comes in to start ahead of Samipeni Finau, who drops to the bench.

Mitchell Brown in action for the Crusaders
Mitchell Brown in action for the Crusaders. Photo credit: Photosport

Boshier is preferred to older brother Lachlan, who'll return from a foot injury in Taranaki club rugby.

The exciting duo of Etene Nanai-Seturo and Jonah Lowe start on the wings, with Shaun Stevenson moving to the bench, while Sean Wainui drops out of the side altogether.

The Chiefs' last game saw them take a thrilling last-gasp 15-12 victory over the Blues in Hamilton, before spending last week on a bye.

Chiefs: 1-Aidan Ross, 2-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3-Angus Ta'avao, 4-Tupou Vaa'i, 5-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 6-Mitchell Brown, 7-Kaylum Boshier, 8-Luke Jacobson, 9-Brad Weber (c), 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-Pita Gus Sowakula, 21-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22-Alex Nankivell, 23-Shaun Stevenson. 

Hurricanes v Crusaders

3:30pm, Sunday, April 11

Sky Stadium, Wellington

All Blacks prop Joe Moody will celebrate his 100th Super Rugby appearance for the Crusaders against the Hurricanes.

Moody, 32, debuted in 2013 and has been a key contributor to the team's consecutive championships over the past four years. 

Coach Scott Robertson has made four changes to the starting XV that lost to the Highlanders last week.

Joe Moody in action for the Crusaders
Joe Moody in action for the Crusaders. Photo credit: Photosport

Oli Jager replaces Michael Alaalatoa in the front row, Whetu Douglas takes the No.6 jersey from Ethan Blackadder, Bryn Hall supplants Mitchell Drummond at halfback, while Sevu Reece claims a wing spot off Leicester Fainga'anuku.

Crusaders: 1-Joe Moody, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Oliver Jager, 4-Scott Barrett (c), 5-Sam Whitelock, 6-Whetu Douglas, 7-Sione Havili Tailtui, 8-Cullen Grace, 9-Bryn Hall, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-George Bridge, 12-David Havili, 13-Jack Goodhue, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-Will Jordan

Reserves: 16-Brodie McAlister, 17-George Bower, 18-Michael Alaalatoa, 19-Mitchell Dunshea, 20-Tom Sanders, 21-Mitchell Drummond, 22-Dallas McLeod, 23-Leicester Fainga'anuku

Rookie Ruben Love will make his first start at first-five for the Hurricanes against defending Super Rugby Aotearoa champions Crusaders, replacing Orbyn Ledger.

The teenager is one of six changes to the starting line-up that lost to the Blues last week, with All Blacks Asafo Aumua and Vaea Fifita returning on the bench.

Xavier Numia replaces Fraser Armstrong at prop, Isaia Walker-Leawere takes the No.5 jersey off Scott Scrafton, while Devan Flanders will start at No.8, with captain Ardie Savea switching to openside flanker.

Among the backs, Peter Umaga-Jensen will partner Ngani Laumape in the midfield, while Wes Goosen is named ahead of Salesi Rayasi on the wing.

Hurricanes: 1-Xavier Numia, 2-Dane Coles, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-James Blackwell, 5-Isaia Walker-Leawere, 6-Reed Prinsep, 7-Ardie Savea (c), 8-Devan Flanders, 9-Luke Campbell, 10-Ruben Love, 11-Wes Goosen, 12-Ngani Laumape, 13-Peter Umaga-Jensen, 14-Julian Savea, 15-Jordie Barrett

Reserves: 16-Asafo Aumua, 17-Tevita Mafileo, 18-Alex Fidow, 19-Scott Scrafton, 20-Vaea Fifita, 21-Du’Plessis Kirifi, 22-Jonathan Taumateine, 23-Billy Proctor