Live updates: Super Rugby Pacific - Highlanders v Blues from Melbourne Rectangular Stadium

  • 01/03/2024

Live coverage has concluded, please click here for the full wrap

Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of this Super Rugby Pacific round two encounter between the Highlanders and Blues, from Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.  

Both these sides opened their campaigns with contrasting wins a week ago, and now square off in their first Kiwi derby of the season.  

Vern Cotter's Blues impressed with a clinical display against Fijian Drua in Northland.  

Meanwhile, the Highlanders were forced to come from behind to defeat a much-improved Moana Pasifika in Dunedin.  

Both sides have made changes to their starting XVs from Saturday as well.  

The Highlanders have welcomed back their one All Black, Ethan de Groot, fresh from him being challenged to improve his form by coach Clarke Dermody.  

Meanwhile, the Blues have restored All Blacks duo Akira Ioane and Ofa Tu'ungafasi for their first starts of 2024.

TAB odds: Highlanders $4.80, Blues $1.18, draw $21  


Highlanders: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Henry Bell, 3-Jermaine Ainsley, 4- Pari Pari Parkinson,  5-Max Hicks, 6-Sean Withy, 7-Billy Harmon (C), 8-Hugh Renton, 9-Folau Fakatava, 10-Rhys Patchell, 11-Jona Nareki, 12-Sam Gilbert, 13-Tanielu Tele'a, 14-Timoci Tavatavanawai, 15-Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens

Reserves: 16. Ricky Jackson, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Saula Ma'u, 19. Fabian Holland, 20. Nikora Broughton, 21. Nathan Hastie, 22. Ajay Faleafaga, 23. Jonah Lowe  

Blues: 1-Ofa Tu'ungafasi 2-Ricky Riccitelli, 3-Marcel Renata, 4-Laghlan McWhannell, 5-Sam Darry, 6-Akira Ioane, 7-Dalton Papali'i (c), 8-Hoskins Sotutu, 9-Taufa Funaki, 10-Stephen Perofeta, 11-Caleb Clarke, 12-Bruce Heem, 13-AJ Lam, 14-Mark Tele'a, 15-Zarn Sullivan  

Reserves: 16-Soane Vikena, 17-Joshua Fusitu'a, 18-Angus Ta'avao, 19-Josh Beehre, 20-Adrian Choat, 21-Sam Nock, 22-Harry Plummer, 23-Cole Forbes