Super Rugby Pacific: Week six team announcements

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


Crusaders v Chiefs

7pm, Friday, March 29

Apollo Projects Stadium, Christchurch

Coach Rob Penney has named hooker James Mullen for a Crusaders debut off the bench, as he counts a mounting bodycount amid a dire start to their title defence.

Captain David Havili is gone to a calf injury, but the home side has lock Quinten Strange back in the starting  XV and first-five Rivez Reihana - who wore No.10 in their season-opener - coming off the bench.

Josh Jacomb in pre-season action for the Chiefs.
Josh Jacomb in pre-season action for the Chiefs. Photo credit: Getty Images

Crusaders: 1-George Bower, 2-George Bell, 3-Fletcher Newell, 4-Quinten Strange, 5-Jamie Hannah, 6-Corey Kellow, 7-Tom Christie, 8-Cullen Grace, 9-Mitch Drummond, 10-Riley Hohepa, 11-Johnny McNicholl, 12-Dallas McLeod, 13-Levi Aumua, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-Chay Fihaki

Reseres: 16-James Mullen, 17-Finlay Brewis, 18-Owen Franks, 19-Dom Gardiner, 20-Fletcher Anderson, 21-Noah Hotham, 22-Rivez Reihana, 23-Macca Springer

Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan has summed up the Crusaders' current slump, choosing to rest star playmaker Damian McKenzie in a Grand Final rematch against their winless rivals.

Instead, rookie Josh Jacomb - who was not initially drafted by any Super Rugby squad, but was included in the Chiefs development group - will make his first start at this level.

All Blacks midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown returnes to the starting line-up, after being stretchered off FMG Stadium two weeks ago and sitting out last week with concussion symptoms.

All Blacks flanker Samipeni Finau is also rested, with Naitoa Ah Kuoi taking the No.6 jersey.

Chiefs: 1-Aidan Ross, 2-Samisoni Taukei’aho, 3-George Dyer, 4-Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 5-Josh Lord, 6-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 7-Kaylum Boshier, 8-Luke Jacobson, 9-Xavier Roe, 10-Josh Jacomb, 11-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12-Quinn Tupaea, 13-Anton Lienert-Brown, 14-Emoni Narawa, 15-Shaun Stevenson 

Reserves: 16-Bradley Slater, 17-Jared Proffit, 18-Reuben O’Neill, 19-Jimmy Tupou, 20-Simon Parker, 21-Cortez Ratima, 22-Josh Ioane, 23-Daniel Rona


Blues v Moana Pasifika

4:30pm, Saturday, March 30

Eden Park, Auckland

All Blacks flanker Dalton Papali'i takes a week off against the Pacific Islanders, while Corey Evans will wear the No.15 jersey, after incument Zarn Sullivan tore a posterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He will be sidelined 6-8 weeks in recovery.

Hooker Ricky Riccitelli will come off the bench for his 100th Super Rugby cap, after recording 71 appearances for the Hurricanes 2016-21. Halfback Finaly Christie will play his 50th game for the Blues.

Ricky Riccitelli in action for the Blues.
Ricky Riccitelli in action for the Blues. Photo credit: Photosport

All Blacks centre Rieko Ioane returns to the No.13 jersey, joining Bryce Heem in the midfield.

Blues: 1-Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2-Soane Vikena, 3-Marcel Renata, 4-Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 5-Laghlan McWhannell, 6-Anton Segner, 7-Adrian Choat, 8-Hoskins Sotutu, 9-Finlay Christie, 10-Stephen Perofeta, 11-Caleb Clarke, 12-Bryce Heem, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Mark Tele'a, 15-Corey Evans

Reserves: 16-Ricky Riccitelli, 17-Joshua Fusitu'a, 18-Angus Ta’avao, 19-Josh Beehre, 20-Akira Ioane, 21-Sam Nock, 22-Harry Plummer, 23-Cole Forbes


Highlanders v Hurricanes

7pm, Saturday, March 30

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

All Blacks prop Ethan de Groot returns to the Highlanders front row, after missing a week with concussion symptoms, while rookie front-rower Rohan Wingham has been named for a debut from the bench.

No.8 Tom Sanders will make his 50th Super Rugby appearance, most of those coming with the Crusaders.

Highlanders: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Henry Bell, 3-Saula Ma'u, 4-Fabian Holland, 5-Max Hicks, 6-Sean Withy, 7-Billy Harmon (c), 8-Tom Sanders, 9-Folau Fakatava, 10-Rhys Patchell, 11-Jona Nareki, 12-Sam Gilbert, 13-Jonah Lowe, 14-Timoci Tavatavanawai, 15-Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens

Reserves: 16-Jack Taylor, 17-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18-Rohan Wingham, 19-Oliver Haig, 20-Nikora Broughton, 21-James Arscott, 22-Ajay Faleafaga, 23-Josh Timu

All Blacks prop Tyrel Lomax will make his 100th Super Rugby appearance, starting his career with Melbourne Rebels (2017) and spending time with the Highlanders (2018-19).

Tyrel Lomax in action for the Hurricanes.
Tyrel Lomax in action for the Hurricanes. Photo credit: Photosport

Coach Clark Laidlaw has made 11 changes to the starting XV that faced the Rebels at Palmerston North last week, with only Jordie Barrett remaining in the backline, and Lomax, lock Caleb Delany and captain Brad Shields retaining their places among the forwards.

Hurricanes: 1-Xavier Numia, 2-Asafo Aumua, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-Caleb Delany, 5-Isaia Walker-Leawere, 6-Brad Shields (c), 7-Peter Lakai,  8-Brayden Iose, 9-Cam Roigard, 10-Brett Cameron, 11-Kini Naholo, 12-Jordie Barrett, 13-Billy Proctor, 14-Josh Moorby, 15-Ruben Love

Reserves: 16-James O’Reilly, 17-Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18-Pasilio Tosi, 19-Justin Sangster, 20- Du'Plessis Kirifi, 21-TJ Perenara, 22-Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23-Ngane Punivai

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