Super Rugby Pacific: Week five team announcements

All the NZ team line-ups for week five of Super Rugby Pacific.

Hurricanes v Rebels

7pm Friday, March 22

Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North

The Hurricanes have been bolstered by the return of captain Brad Shields and All Blacks midfielder Jordie Barrett as part of a completely revamped line-up against the Melburnians.

Just two members of the starting XV from last weekend's win over the Crusaders feature, with coach Clark Laidlaw opting to afford the majority of his table-topping squad a rest after their undefeated start to the season.

Halfback TJ Perenara makes his first startfor the Hurricanes since returning from his lengthy injury absence, while Shields runs on for the maiden outing of his second stint with the team from the capital.

Hurricanes: 1- Pouri Rakete-Stones, 2- James O’Reilly, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4- Justin Sangster, 5- Caleb Delany, 6- Brad Shields, 7- Brad Shields (capt), 8- Devan Flanders, 9-TJ Perenara, 10-Aidan Morgan, 11- Salesi Rayasi, 12- Jordie Barrett, 13- Ngane Punivai, 14- Daniel Sinkinson, 15- Harry Godfrey

Reserves: 16- Asafo Aumua, 17- Tevita Mafileo, 18-Pasilio Tosi, 19- Pasilio Tosi, 20- Brayden Iose, 21- Richard Judd, 22- Riley Higgins, 23- Josh Moorby

Brad Shields.
Brad Shields. Photo credit: Getty Images

Chiefs v Highlanders

4:35pm Saturday, March 23

FMG Stadium, Hamilton 

The Chiefs usher in their vaunted All Blacks second row of Josh Lord and Tupou Vaa'i for their derby against the southerners.

Rameka Pohipi replaces All Blacks midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown, who left the field in a stretcher with a neck injury during the win over Fijian Drua last weekend, but bring Emoni Narawa back into the fray off the bench.

The Highlanders lose All Blacks prop Ethan de Groot due to concussion protocol, as well as lock Max Hicks to a wrist injury.

Chiefs: 1-Jared Proffit, 2- Bradley Slater, 3-Reuben O'Neill, 4-Josh Lord, 5- Tupou Vaa'i, 6-Samipeni Finau, 7-Kaylum Boshier, 8-Luke Jacobson (c), 9-Cortez Ratima, 10-Damian McKenzie, 11-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12- Quinn Tupaea, 13- Rameka Poihipi, 14-Daniel Rona, 15-Shaun Stevenson

Reserves: 16- Tyrone Thompson, 17- Aidan Ross, 18-George Dyer, 19- Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20- Wallace Sititi, 21-Xavier Roe, 22-Josh Ioane, 23-Emoni Narawa

Highlanders: 1- Ayden Johnstone, 2- Henry Bell, 3-Saula Ma'u, 4-Fabian Holland, 5- Pari Pari Parkinson, 6- Sean Withy, 7-Billy Harmon (c), 8- Tom Sanders, 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- Jack Taylor, 17- Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18-Jermaine Ainsley, 19-Oliver Haig, 20-Nikora Broughton, 21-James Arscott, 22-Ajay Faleafaga, 23-Connor Garden-Bachop

Blues v Crusaders

7pm Saturday, March 23

Eden Park, Auckland

The Blues will be without midfielder Rieko Ioane for their blockbuster clash with the winless Crusaders.

Ioane suffered a head knock during the win over NSW Waratahs in Syndey last weekend, ruling him out of action this weekend in accordance with concussion protocol.

On a more positive note, All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu returns for his first out game of 2024, after dislocating his jaw during the team's pre-season jaunt to Japan.

The Crusaders have made just one change to their starting XV as they chase their first victory of 2024, with Jamie Hannah replacing Zach Gallagher at lock.

Blues: 1-Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2- Ricky Riccitelli, 3- Angus Ta'avao, 4- Patrick Tuipulotu (capt), 5-Laghlan McWhannell, 6-Akira Ioane, 7-Dalton Papali'i, 8-Hoskins Sotutu, 9-Finlay Christie, 10-Stephen Perofeta, 11-Caleb Clarke, 12-Bryce Heem, 13-AJ Lam, 14-Mark Tele'a, 15-Zarn Sullivan

Reserves: 16- Kurt Eklund, 17-Joshua Fusitu'a, 18- Marcel Renata, 19- Josh Beehre, 20- Adrian Choat, 21- Taufa Funaki, 22-Harry Plummer, 23-Cole Forbes

Crusaders: 1- George Bower, 2-George Bell, 3-Fletcher Newell, 4-Quinten Strange, 5-Jamie Hannah, 6-Dom Gardiner, 7-Tom Christie, 8-Cullen Grace, 9-Willi Heinz, 10-Riley Hohepa, 11-Macca Springer, 12-David Havili (capt), 13-Levi Aumua, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-Chay Fihaki

Reserves: 16-Ioane Moananu, 17-Joe Moody, 18-Seb Calder, 19-Tahlor Cahill, 20-Corey Kellow, 21-Noah Hotham, 22-Ryan Crotty, 23-Dallas McLeod