Official team lists and injury news for this week's round of Super Rugby Pacific.
Highlanders v Western Force
7pm Friday, May 13
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Fullback/wing utility Sam Gilbert will pull on the unfamiliar Highlanders No.10 jersey against the Force, with regular first-five Mitch Hunt starting off the bench.
Coach Tony Brown has recalled Andrew Makalio to replace injured hooker Liam Coltman in the pack, but was shuffled his backline, with Josh centre Timu returning from injury and Fetuli Paea shifting to the wing.
Prop Daniel Lienert-Brown will notch up his 100th Super Rugby appearance, including two for the Crusaders and 98 for the Highlanders, while veteran lock Bryn Evans will make his 50th Super Rugby outing, half of them with the Hurricanes, before a decade in the United Kingdom.
Highlanders: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Andrew Makalio, 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-Sam Gilbert, 11-Scott Gregory, 12-Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 13-Josh Timu, 14-Fetuli Paea, 15-Connor Garden-Bachop
Reserves: 16-Rhys Marshall, 17-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18-Saula Mau, 19-Fabian Holland, 20-Hugh Renton, 21-Folau Fakatava, 22-Mitch Hunt, 23-Liam Coombes-Fabling
Brumbies v Crusaders
9:45pm Friday, May 13
GIO Stadium, Canberra
The Crusaders welcome back some of their big guns for their blockbuster showdown with the Brumbies.
All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor returns to the starting XV, after missing last weekend's game to be with his family for the birth of his third child.
Test lock Scott Barrett has served his three-weeks suspension for his high shot on Alex Hodgman during the loss to the Blues and will reclaim the No.4 jersey.
Jack Goodhue is back from a week's rest to start in the midfield at the expense of Braydon Ennor, while Leicester Fainga'anuku makes way for George Bridge to start on the left wing.
Crusaders: 1-George Bower, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Fletcher Newell, 4-Scott Barrett , 5-Sam Whitelock, 6-Pablo Matera, 7-Ethan Blackadder, 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-Ricky Jackson, 17-Finlay Brewis, 18-Tamaiti Williams, 19-Liam Hallam-Eames, 20-Tom Christie, 21-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22-Braydon Ennor, 23-Leicester Fainga'anuku
Fijian Drua v Moana Pasifika
4:30pm Saturday, May 14
CommBank Stadium, Suva
Hawke's Bay first-five Lincoln McClutchie will take the reins of Moana Pasifika, named in the No.10 jersey to face Fijian Drua in Suva on Saturday.
With six changes in the starting side, McClutchie starts at first-five over Christian Leali'ifano, who drops to the bench as a result.
Elsewhere, Michael Curry shifts from loose forward to lock, and starts in place of Veikoso Poloniati, who moves to the bench.
Curry is joined in the second row by Alex McRobbie, who takes the place of Samuel Slade in the starting XV.
In the backs, former NZ Warriors centre Solomone Kata starts in the No.13 jersey, while William Havili has been named at fullback in place of Danny Toala, who shifts back to No.12 in place of Henry Taefu.
Moana Pasifika: 1-Abraham Pole, 2-Ray Niuia, 3-Sekope Kepu (c), 4-Michael Curry, 5-Alex McRobbie, 6-Sione Tu'ipulotu, 7-Solomone Funaki, 8-Henry Time-Stowers, 9-Ereatara Enari, 10-Lincoln McClutchie, 11-Timoci Tavatavanawai, 12-Danny Toala, 13-Solomone Kata, 14-Tima Fainga'anuku, 15-William Havili
Reserves: 16-Samiuela Moli, 17-Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18-Joe 'Apikotoa, 19-Veikoso Poloniati, 20-Jack Lam, 21-Jonathan Taumateine, 22-Christian Leali'ifano, 23-Henry Taefu
Blues v Queensland Reds
7pm Saturday, May 14
Eden Park, Auckland
Star first-five Beauden Barrett returns to the Blues line-up to face the Reds, after last week's All Blacks-mandated rest. With his inclusion, Stephen Perofeta moves to fullback.
Alex Hodgman is back from a one-game injury in the only other change from the team that beat Melbourne Rebels last week.
Blues: 1-Alex Hodgman, 2-Kurt Eklund, 3-Ofa Tuungafasi, 4-James Tucker, 5-Tom Robinson, 6-Akira Ioane, 7-Dalton Papalii (c), 8-Hoskins Sotutu, 9-Finlay Christie, 10-Beauden Barrett, 11-Caleb Clarke, 12-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Mark Telea, 15-Stephen Perofeta
Reserves: 16-Soane Vikena, 17-Jordan Lay, 18-Nepo Laulala, 19-Luke Romano, 20-Adrian Choat, 21-Sam Nock, 22-Bryce Heem, 23. Zarn Sullivan
NSW Waratahs v Hurricanes
9:45pm Saturday, May 14
Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Jordie Barrett will shift back into midfield when the Hurricanes face the Waratahs on Saturday, named in the No.12 jersey again.
Having switched back and forth from fullback all season, Barrett returns to midfield to face the Waratahs, and partners Bailyn Sullivan.
Barrett's shift sees Billy Proctor drop to the bench, taking the place of Riley Higgins, who debuted in last week's win over Fijian Drua.
Captain Ardie Savea also returns to the side at No.8, following his All Blacks rest week, and takes the place of Tyler Laubscher - who started against the Drua.
TJ Perenara will sit out for his All Blacks rest though, as Jamie Booth starts at halfback, partnering Aidan Morgan in the No.10 jersey.
In the forwards, James Blackwell returns at lock to move Isaia Walker-Leawere to the bench, while TK Howden will wear the No.6 jersey in place of Blake Gibson.
On the right wing, Julian Savea returns to the side in place of Wes Goosen, who drops out of the matchday 23 altogether.
Hurricanes: 1-Xavier Numia, 2-Asafo Aumua, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-James Blackwell, 5-Justin Sangster, 6-TK Howden, 7-Du'Plessis Kirifi, 8-Ardie Savea (c), 9-Jamie Booth, 10-Aidan Morgan, 11-Salesi Rayasi, 12-Jordie Barrett, 13-Bailyn Sullivan, 14-Julian Savea, 15-Josh Moorby
Reserves: 16-Dane Coles, 17-Tevita Mafileo, 18-Owen Franks, 19-Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20-Caleb Delany, 21-Cameron Roigard, 22-Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23-Billy Proctor
Melbourne Rebels v Chiefs
4pm Sunday, May 15
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Brad Weber and Josh Ioane have been named in the Chiefs starting XV to take on the Melbourne Rebels at AMII Park on Sunday.
The halves pairing return to the lineup after both being out of action for over four weeks with injuries.
The Chiefs have also welcomed the return of Naitoa Ah Kuoi to partner Josh Lord in the locks, with Samipeni Finau replacing Luke Jacobson in the No.6 jersey, who moves to eight.
Head coach Clayton McMillian has welcomed the return of some of his more experienced leaders in the team.
"We are well aware of what is at stake over the next three weeks. Everyone wants to make the finals, ideally at home, and the race to secure points and bring that to fruition is certainly heating up," he said.
"We need to be focused and hungry for each game starting with the Rebels this week. They are a much better side than some of their recent results suggest, and will come out firing in front of their home fans."
Chiefs: 1-Aidan Ross, 2-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3-Angus Ta'avao, 4-Josh Lord, 5-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 6-Samipeni Finau, 7-Same Cane, 8-Luke Jacobson, 9-Brad Weber, 10-Josh Ioane, 11-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12-Quinn Tupaea, 13-Rameka Poihipi, 14-Emoni Narawa, 15- Kaleb Trask
Reserves: 16-Tyrone Thompson, 17-Ollie Norris, 18-Atu Moli, 19-Pita Gus Sowakula, 20-Mitch Brown, 21-Xavier Roe, 22-Rivez Reihana, 23-Inga Finau
More to come
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