Super Rugby Pacific: Week three team announcements

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


NSW Waratahs v Highlanders

9:30pm Friday, March 8

Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Billy Harmon's relegation to the Highlanders bench against the Waratahs will see All Blacks prop Ethan de Groot promoted to captain, as they try to rebound from their loss to the Blues last week.

Ethan de Groot in action for Highlanders.
Ethan de Groot in action for Highlanders. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Ethan's a real team man and a leader, and we know that he’ll take the additional responsibility in his stride on Friday night, with Sam [Gilbert] there to lend a hand," said coach Clarke Dermody. 

"We were disappointed with how we finished on Friday night and we've been working hard to channel disappointment into fuel for this game. We're determined to secure a win, not only for ourselves, but for our fans who have been so supportive of this new Highlanders team.

"We want to do it for them too."

Flanker Tom Sanders will make his Highlanders debut, after 46 previous Super Rugby games for the Chiefs and Crusaders.

Highlanders: 1-Ethan de Groot (c), 2-Henry Bell, 3-Jermaine Ainsley, 4-Fabian Holland, 5-Max Hicks, 6-Tom Sanders, 7-Nikora Broughton, 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-Sean Withy, 20-Billy Harmon, 21-James Arscott, 22-Ajay Faleafaga, 23-Jonah Lowe


Fijian Drua v Crusaders

2pm Saturday, March 9

Churchill Park, Lautoka

Coach Rob Penney has named three debutants, while flanker Tom Christie will chalk up his 50th game for the Crusaders, when they visit the Drua.

Among a raft of mandated All Blacks absences, this fixture proved a banana skin for the champions last season, but Penney has named similar starting XV to the one that faced NSW Waratahs last week, with Manasa Mataele replacing Macca Springer on the wing and Willi Heinz taking the No.9 jersey off Noah Hotham.

Loose forward Tahlor Cahill, and backs Jone Rova and Riley Hohepa will likely make their first appearances for the Crusaders off the bench.

Crusaders: 1-George Bower, 2-George Bell, 3-Fletcher Newell, 4-Scott Barrett (c), 5-Quinten Strange, 6-Dom Gardiner, 7-Tom Christie, 8-Cullen Grace, 9-Willis Heinz, 10-Taha Kemara, 11-Manasa Mataele, 12-David Havili, 13-Levi Aumua, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-Chay Finaki

Reserves: 16-Ioane Moananu, 17-Kershawl Sykes-Martin, 18-Seb Calder, 19-Jamie Hannah, 20-Tahlor Cahil, 21-Mitch Drummond, 22-Jone Rova, 23-Riley Hohepa 


Hurricanes v Blues

7pm Saturday, March 9

Sky Stadium, Wellington

Hurricanes: 1-Tevita Mafileo, 2-Asafo Aumua (cc), 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-James Tucker, 5-Isaia Walker-Leawere, 6-TK Howden, 7-Peter Lakai, 8-Brayden Iose, 9-Cam Roigard, 10-Brett Cameron, 11-Kini Naholo, 12-Riley Higgins, 13-Billy Proctor (cc), 14-Josh Moorby, 15-Ruben Love

TJ Perenara in action for the Hurricanes.
TJ Perenara in action for the Hurricanes. Photo credit: Photosport

Reserves: 16-James O’Reilly, 17-Xavier Numia, 18-Pasilio Tosi, 19-Caleb Delany, 20-Devan Flanders, 21-TJ Perenara, 22-Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23-Salesi Rayasi

Blues: 1-Joshua Fusitu'a, 2-Kurt Eklund, 3-Marcel Renata, 4-Lachlan McWhannell, 5-Cameron Suafoa, 6-Anton Segner, 7-Dalton Papali'i (c), 8-Ardie Ioane, 9-Finlay Christie, 10-Stephen Perofeta, 11-AJ Lam, 12-Harry Plummer, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Mark Tele'a, 15-Zarn Sullivan

Reserves: 16-Ricky Riccitelli, 17-Jordan Lay, 18-Angus Ta'avao, 19-Josh Beehre, 20-Hoskins Sotutu, 21-Adrian Choat, 22-Funaki, 23-Cole Forbes


Reds v Chiefs

9:30pm Saturday, March 9

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Loose forward Wallace Sititi and first-five Josh Jacomb have been named for Super Rugby debuts off the bench, when the Chiefs visit the Reds.

Jacomb was one of the standout performers in Taranaki's National Provincial Championship triumph last year, but was the notable absence, when Super Rugby squads were named in November. Both joined the Chiefs wider squad over the summer and have been promoted to the gameday squad.

Coach Clayton McMillan has shuffled his deck, with seven personal changes and a positional change from the line-up against ACT Brumbies last week.

Josh Jacomb in action for Taranaki.
Josh Jacomb in action for Taranaki. Photo credit: Getty Images

Prop Aidan Ross and All Blacks hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho come into the front row, and Naitoa Ah Kuoi joins the second row, while Simon Parker takes the No.7 jersey.

Among the backs, Daniel Rona replaces All Blacks midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown, while Josh Ioane starts at fullback, while Shaun Stevenson moves to the wing.  

Chiefs: 1-Aidan Ross, 2-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3-George Dyer, 4-Tupou Vaa'i, 5-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 6-Samipeni Finau, 7-Simon Parker, 8-Luke Jacobson (c), 9-Cortez Ratimam, 10-Damian McKenzie, 11-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12-Rameka Poihipi, 13-Daniel Rona, 14-Shaun Stevenson, 15-Josh Ioane 

Reserves: 16-Tyrone Thompson, 17-Ollie Norris, 18-Reuben O'Neill, 19-Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20-Wallace Sititi, 21-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22-Josh Jacomb, 23-Anton Lienert-Brown 

More to come

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