Super Rugby Pacific, Aupiki: Week two team announcements

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


Super Rugby Pacific

Crusaders v Highlanders

8pm Friday, March 3

AAMI Stadium, Melbourne

Veteran lock Sam Whitelock returns to strengthen the Crusaders pack, after the six-time defending champions tumbled to defeat in their season-opener.

Whitelock sat out the Chiefs clash with concussion symptoms, but will join fellow All Black and captain Scott Barrett in the second row.

Tamaiti Williams replaces Fletcher Newell at prop, while Christian Lio-Willie starts at No.8, after injury forced Cullen Grace from the field last week.

All Blacks midfielder David Havili moves there from fullback, with Jack Goodhue shifted to centre and Fergus Burke claiming the No.15 jersey.

Crusaders: 1-Joe Moody, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Tamaiti Williams, 4-Scott Barrett (c), 5-Sam Whitelock, 6-Ethan Blackadder, 7-Tom Christie, 8-Christian Lio-Willie, 9-Mitch Drummond, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-Leicester Fainga'anuku, 12-David Havili, 13-Jack Goodhue, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-Fergus Burke

Reserves: 16-Brodie McAlister, 17-Seb Calder, 18-Zach Gallagher, 19-Sioni Talitui, 20-Noah Holtham, 21-Braydon Ennor, 22-Macca Springer

Highlanders coach Clarke Dermody has rung the changes - many forced by injury - to a line-up that conceded a record defeat to the Blues last week.

Inside back pairing of Folau Fakatava and Mitch Hunt have been relegated to the bench, replaced by rookie Kemara Hauiti-Parapara and former English international Freddie Burns.

All Blacks forwards Shannon Frizell and Ethan de Groot have been given a week off for loading purposes, with Sean Withy and Ayden Johnstone introduced to the starting pack.

Freddie Burns in action for the Highlanders
Freddie Burns in action for the Highlanders. Photo credit: Photosport

No.8 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u left the field injured against the Blues and his jersey will go to Super Rugby debutant Nikora Broughton.

Highlanders: 1-Ayden Johnstone, 2-Andrew Makalio, 3-Jermaine Ainsley, 4-Pari Pari Parkinson, 5-Will Tucker, 6-Billy Harmon (c), 7-Sean Withy, 8-Nikora Broughton, 9-Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, 10-Freddie Burns, 11-Connor Garden-Bachop, 12-Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 13-Josh Timu, 14-Jonah Lowe, 15-Sam Gilbert

Reserves: 16-Rhys Marshall, 17-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18-Saula Ma'u, 19-Max Hicks, 20-Jame Lentjes, 21-Folau Fakatava, 22-Mitch Hunt, 23-Mosese Dawai


Rebels v Hurricanes

10:10pm Saturday, March 3

AAMI Stadium, Melbourne

Hurricanes coach Jason Holland has made three changes to his starting line-up for their second game against Melbourne Rebels, two of them among the loose forwards.

Du'Plessis Kirifi in action for the Hurricanes
Du'Plessis Kirifi in action for the Hurricanes. Photo credit: Photosport

Brayden Iose and Du'Plessi Kirifi replace injured Devan Flanders and teenager Peter Lakai, while All Blacks prop Tyrel Lomax is promoted off the bench to replace former international Owen Franks.

Hurricanes: 1-Xavier Numia, 2-Dane Coles, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-James Blackwell, 5-Isaia Walker-Leawere, 6-Brayden Iose, 7-Du'Plessis Kirifi, 8-Ardie Savea (c), 9-Cameron Roigard, 10-Aidan Morgan, 11-Salesi Rayasi, 12-Jordie Barrett, 13-Billy Proctor, 14-Julian Savea, 15-Josh Moorby 

Reserves: 16-Asafo Aumua, 17-Tevita Mafileo, 18-Owen Franks, 19-Caleb Delany, 20-Peter Lakai, 21-Jamie Booth, 22-Riley Higgins, 23-Harry Godfrey 


Moana Pasifika v Chiefs

7:05pm Saturday, March 4

AAMI Stadium, Melbourne

Coach Clayton McMillan has named a settled side for the Chiefs' showdown with Moana Pasifika across the ditch this weekend.

All Blacks midfidler Anton Lienert-Brown is the most notable absentee, with his ankle injury suffered in the win over the Crusaders to sideline him for the next four weeks.

Rameka Pohipi steps up to claim his No. 12 jersey, while prop Ollie Norris moves from the bench to replace Aidan Ross.

Etene Nanai-Seturo has recovered from the hamstring that scratched him from last week's starting line-up to slot back on to the left wing.

"We prepared well and the desire to work hard for the full 80 minutes was outstanding," McMillan said of Friday's impressive first-up victory over the defending champions.  

"We have come out of that game with a few niggles, but have managed to name the bulk of last week's squad, as we look to build some cohesion whilst balancing the need to inject a few fresh bodies. 

Etene Nanai-Seturo in action for the Chiefs
Etene Nanai-Seturo in action for the Chiefs. Photo credit: Getty Images

"We have belief in our squad and this is an opportunity for some to press their claims."

Chiefs: 1-Ollie Norris, 2-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3-George Dyer, 4-Brodie Retallick, 5-Tupou Vaa'i, 6-Pita Gus Sowakula, 7-Sam Cane (co-captain), 8-Luke Jacobson, 9-Brad Weber (co-captain), 10-Damian McKenzie, 11-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12-Rameka Poihipi, 13-Alex Nankivell, 14-Liam Coombes-Fabling, 15-Shaun Stevenson

Reserves: 16-Tyrone Thompson, 17-Jared Proffit, 18-John Ryan, 19-Laghlan McWhannell, 20-Simon Parker, 21-Cortez Ratima, 22-Bryn Gatland, 23-Ngatungane Punivai


Blues v Brumbies

4pm Sunday, March 5

AAMI Stadium, Melbourne

Blues coach Leon McDonald has named an all-new starting front row to take on the Brumbies at Melbourne, with Joshua Fusitu'a, Ricky Riccitelli and James Lay wearing the low numbers, replacing Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Kurt Eklund and Nepo Laulala.

“I’m stoked to see Jimmy Lay back in blue after a long lay-off with injuries. He’s a superb club man and a great guy to have around the group, so to see him run out on Sunday will be reward for all his hard work in getting back to playing fitness,” said captain Dalton Papali'i.

Akira Ioane in action for the Blues.
Akira Ioane in action for the Blues. Photo credit: Photosport

Tu'ungafasi and Eklund will drop to the bench, but All Blacks loose forward Akira Ioane is sidelined by a knee, after leaving last week's contest against the Highlanders early. Tom Robinson has been bracketed with Adrian Choat as his replacement.

The all-international backline remains intact, with first-five Beauden Barrett bringing up his 20-game blazer appearance for the Blues.

Blues: 1-Joshua Fusitu’a, 2-Ricky Riccitelli, 3-James Lay, 4-Patrick Tuipulotu, 5-Cameron Suafoa, 6-Tom Robinson/Adrian Choat, 7-Dalton Papali'i, 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-Kurt Eklund, 17-Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18-Marcel Renata, 19-James Tucker, 20-Adrian Choat/Anton Segner, 21-Taufa Funaki, 22-Bryce Heem, 23-Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens


Super Rugby Aupiki

Blues v Chiefs Manawa

2:05pm Saturday, March 4

North Harbour Stadium, Albany

Blues: 1-Chryss Viliko, 2-Grace Gago, 3-Esther Faiaoga-Tilo , 4-Maama Vaipulu, 5-Maiakawanakaulani Roos, 6-Charmaine McMenamin, 7-Shannon Leota, 8-Liana Mikaele-Tu'u, 9-Ariana Bayler, 10-Ruahei Demant, 11-Katelynn Vahaakolo, 12-Patricia Maliepo, 13-Sylvia Brunt, 14-Jaymie Kolose, 15-Kiritapu Demant

Reserves: 16-Alakoka Po'oi, 17-Toka Natua, 18- Sophie Fisher, 19-Eloise Blackwell, 20-Tafito Lafaele, 21-Melanie Puckett, 22-Krysten Cottrell, 23-Tara Turner

Chiefs: 1-Awhina Tangen-Wainohu, 2-Luka Connor, 3-Tanya Kalounivale, 4-Kelsie Thwaites, 5-Chelsea Bremner, 6-Charmaine Smith, 7-Tynealle Fitzgerald, 8-Kennedy Simon (C), 9-Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, 10-Hazel Tubic, 11-Georgia Daals, 12-Azalleyah Maaka, 13-Carla Hohepa, 14-Mererangi Paul, 15-Tenika Willison

Reserves: 16-Grace Houpapa-Barrett, 17-Angel Mulu, 18-Kate Henwood, 19-Dhys Faleafaga, 20-Victoria Makea, 21-Violet Hapi-Wise, 22-Amanda Rasch, 23-Apii Nicholls


Matatū v Hurricanes Poua

4:35pm Saturday, March 4

Ngā Puna Wai, Christchurch

Matatu: 1-Pip Love, 2-Georgia Ponsonby, 3-Amy Rule, 4-Alana Bremner, 5-Cidny Nelles, 6-Lucy Jenkins, 7-Kendra Reynolds, 8-Marcelle Parkes, 9-Di Hini, 10-Rosie Kelly, 11-Martha Mataele, 12-Grace Booker, 13-Amy due Plessis, 14-Chey Robins-Reti, 15-Renee Holmes

Reserves: 16-Nat Delamere, 17-Ona Palu, 18-Steph Te-Ohaere Fox, 19-Sera Naiqama, 20-Emma Dermody, 21-Georgia Cormick, 22-Terauoriwha Gapper, 23-Grace Steinmetz

Hurricanes: 1-Krystal Murray, 2-Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, 3-Cilia-Marie Po'e-Tofaeono, 4-Joanah Ngan-Woo, 5-Rachael Rakatau (c), 6-Layla Sae, 7-Rhiarna Ferris, 8-Kaipo Olsen-Baker, 9-Iritana Hohaia, 10-Carys Dallinger, 11-Ayesha Leti-I'iga, 12-Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, 13-Shakira Baker, 14-Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly, 15-Isabella Waterman

Reserves: 16-Saphire Abraham, 17-Sosoli Talawadua, 18-Cristo Tofa, 19-Kahurangi Sturmey, 20-Maddie Feaunati, 21-Milly Mackey, 22-Monica Tacoai, 23-Crystal Mayes

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