Official team lists and injury news for this week's round of Super Rugby Pacific.
Blues v Rebels
7pm Friday, May 6
Eden Park, Auckland
First-five Beaden Barrett will take All Blacks-mandated leave from the Blues this week, replaced by Stephen Perofeta in the No.10 jersey.
International No.8 Hoskins Sotutu reclaims his spot at the back of the scrum, with James Tucker and Tom Robinson forming a new locking combination.
Coach Leon MacDonald has the luxury of bringing All Blacks props Nepo Laulala and Karl Tu'inukuafe off the bench, while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Rieko Ioane resume their midfield combination.
Blues: 1-Jordan Lay, 2-Kurt Eklund, 3-Ofa Tuungafasi, 4-James Tucker, 5-Tom Robinson, 6-Akira Ioane, 7-Dalton Papalii, 8-Hoskins Sotutu, 9-Finlay Christie, 10-Stephen Perofeta, 11-Caleb Clarke, 12-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Mark Telea, 15-Zarn Sullivan
Reserves: 16-Soane Vikena, 17-Karl Tu'inukuage, 18-Nepo Laulala, 19-Sam Darry, 20-Adrian Choat, 21-Sam Nock, 22-Bryce Heem, 23-AJ Lam
Reds v Highlanders
9:45pm Friday, May 6
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Coach Tony Brown has made no changes to his backline to face former All Blacks teammate and Highlander Brad Thorn, but has recalled hooker Liam Coltman, lock Josh Dickson and flanker James Lentjes to beef up his pack.
Dickson returns from a two-week suspension, after being red-carded for a high tackle against the Hurricanes last month.
Highlanders: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Liam Coltman, 3-Jermaine Ainsley, 4-Bryn Evans, 5-Josh Dickson, 6-James Lentjes (cc), 7-Billy Harmon, 8-Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 9-Aaron Smith (cc), 10-Mitch Hunt, 11-Scott Gregory, 12-Fetuli Paea, 13-Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 14-Sam Gilbert, 15-Connor Garden-Bachop
Reserves: 16-Rhys Marshall, 17-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18-Saula Mau, 19-Max Hicks, 20-Hugh Renton, 21-Folau Fakatava, 22-Marty Banks, 23-Mosese Dawai
Moana Pasifika v Waratahs
4:30pm Saturday, May 7
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Veteran first-five Christian Leali'ifano is just nine points away from reaching 1000 Super Rugby points, most of them in 150 appearances for the Brumbies from 2007-19. Captain Sekope Kepu will play against the team he made 141 appearances for.
Coach Aaron Mauger has named the same backline that started against the Rebels last week and just one change among the forwards, where a fractured cheek to Alamanda Motuga sees him replaced by Solomone Funaki.
Moana Pasifika: 1-Abraham Pole, 2-Ray Niuia, 3-Sekope Kepu (C), 4-Veikoso Poloniati, 5-Samuel Slade, 6-Michael Curry, 7-Solomone Funaki, 8-Henry Time-Stowers, 9-Ereatara Enari, 10-Christian Leali’ifano, 11-Timoci Tavatavanawai, 12- Henry Taefu, 13-Levi Aumua, 14-Tima Fainga’anuku, 15- Danny Toala
Reserves: 16-Luteru Tolai, 17-Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18-Joe 'Apikotoa, 19-Alex McRobbie, 20-Jack Lam, 21-Jonathan Taumateine, 22-Lincoln McClutchie, 23-Solomone Kata
Chiefs v Brumbies
7pm Saturday, May 7
FMG Stadium, Hamilton
The Chiefs will welcome captain Sam Cane back into the fold to face the Brumbies in Hamilton on Saturday.
Cane, 30, missed the Chiefs' trip to Australia, staying in New Zealand for the impending birth of his child.
But as the only change to the starting forward pack, Cane returns in the No.7 jersey, with Kaylum Boshier dropping out of the side.
In the backs, Quinn Tupaea moves back into midfield after starting the Chiefs' last two matches on the wing, as Etene Nanai-Seturo takes the No.11 jersey.
Tupaea's move infield sees Rameka Poihipi drop to the bench.
Kaleb Trask also returns to the side at fullback, seeing Chase Tiatia drop out of the matchday 23 altogether, as Emoni Narawa takes the final spot on the bench.
Elsewhere, Atu Moli has been named on the bench for what will be his 50th Super Rugby appearance.
Chiefs: 1-Aidan Ross, 2-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3-Angus Ta'avao, 4-Josh Lord, 5-Tupou Vaa'i, 6-Luke Jacobson, 7-Sam Cane (c), 8-Pita Gus Sowakula, 9-Cortez Ratima, 10-Bryn Gatland, 11-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12-Quinn Tupaea, 13-Alex Nankivell, 14-Jonah Lowe, 15-Kaleb Trask
Reserves: 16-Bradley Slater, 17-Ollie Norris, 18-Atu Moli, 19-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20-Samipeni Finau, 21-Xavier Roe, 22-Rameka Poihipi, 23-Emoni Narawa
Force v Crusaders
9:45pm Saturday, May 7
nib Stadium, Perth
Midfielder David Havili will lead the Crusaders in the absence of captain Scott Barrett (suspended) and vice-captain Codie Taylor on All Blacks rest.
Prop George Bower will join Taylor on the sideline on mandated rest, but coach Scott Robertson sees a raft of internationals return, after sitting out last week's surprise loss to the Waratahs.
Ethan Blackadder and Cullen Grace join Argentine Pablo Matera in the loose forwards, while Richie Mo'unga, Braydon Ennor and George Bridge return to the backline, with All Blacks Jack Goodhue and Sevu Reece rested.
In Taylor's absence, Ricky Jackson takes the No.2 jersey, with George Bell poised to make his debut off the bench.
Crusaders: 1-Tamaiti Williams, 2-Ricky Jackson, 3-Oli Jager, 4-Zach Gallagher, 5-Sam Whitelock, 6-Pablo Matera, 7-Ethan Blackadder, 8-Cullen Grace, 9-Mitchell Drummond, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-Leicester Fainga'anuku, 12-David Havili (C), 13-Braydon Ennor, 14-George Bridge, 15-Will Jordan
Reserves: 16-George Bell, 17-Finlay Brewis, 18-Fletcher Newell, 19-Dominic Gardiner, 20-Sione Havili Talitui, 21-Bryn Hall, 22-Fergus Burke, 23-Chay Fihaki
Hurricanes v Drua
3:30pm Sunday, May 8
Sky Stadium, Wellington
The Hurricanes will be boosted by two All Blacks when they face Fijian Drua in Wellington on Sunday, with both Dane Coles and Owen Franks to make their first appearances of the year.
Hooker Coles returns to the side, after battling a calf injury sustained on the All Blacks' 2020 northern tour, and will start on the bench as cover for Asafo Aumua.
Former All Blacks prop Owen Franks is in line to debut for the Hurricanes after so far missing all of the 2022 season with a torn achilles. Like Coles, Franks also starts on the bench, as cover for Tyrel Lomax.
But while the Hurricanes will have two All Blacks in their ranks, they've also lost two more due to All Blacks rest orders.
Captain Ardie Savea will have the week off, with 21-year-old Manawatu flanker Tyler Laubscher to debut at No.8 in his place.
Jordie Barrett will also play no part in Sunday's clash, seeing Josh Moorby take the No.15 jersey again, and seeing 19-year-old Riley Higgins named on the bench.
Hurricanes: 1-Xavier Numia, 2-Asafo Aumua, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-Isaia Walker-Leawere, 5-Justin Sangster, 6-Blake Gibson, 7-Du'Plessis Kirifi, 8-Tyler Laubscher, 9-TJ Perenara (c), 10-Aidan Morgan, 11-Salesi Rayasi, 12-Billy Proctor, 13-Bailyn Sullivan, 14-Wes Goosen, 15-Josh Moorby
Reserves: 16-Dane Coles, 17-Tevita Mafileo, 18-Owen Franks, 19-Caleb Delany, 20-TK Howden, 21-Cameron Roigard, 22-Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23-Riley Higgins
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