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Big trans-Tasman games in Super Rugby

Updated: Apr 27

Ruben Love and the Hurricanes have been in great form all Super Rugby season
Ruben Love has been one of the stars for the Hurricanes, Can he continue his form in round 10? PHOTO: DAVELINTOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

Super Rugby Pacific Round 10 gets underway with a few big games as Australian teams are in competitive positions against their New Zealand rivals.

The Hurricanes and Blues look like they will continue at the top of the table but the for other New Zealand sides, including the Crusaders, nothing is certain.


Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels

Friday, 7.05pm; Apollo Projects Stadium, Christchurch

Can the run of losses stop with a couple of big names returning to the side?

Out since breaking his finger against the Fijian Drua in round three, captain Scott Barrett will start against while David Havili will come off the bench and cover both No 10 and the midfield.

Havili hasn’t played since round five against the Blues, and could bring some important Stability in the midfield which has been missing..

Johnny McNicholl starts at fullback which moves Chay Fihaki to the bench while flanker Tom Christie gets a well-earned rest and Ethan Blackadder moves to open side with Cullen Grace blindside and Christian Lio-Willie at No 8.

Crusaders: Johnny McNicholl, Sevu Reece, Levi Aumua, Dallas McLeod, Heremaia Murray, Rivez Reihana, Mitchell Drummond, Christian Lio-Willie, Ethan Blackadder, Cullen Grace, Quinten Strange, Scott Barrett, Fletcher Newell, Brodie McAlister, George Bower. Reserves: George Bell, Joe Moody, Owen Franks, Jamie Hannah, Corey Kellow, Noah Hotham, David Havili, Chay Fihaki

Chiefs vs NSW Waratahs

Friday, 9.35pm (NZ time); Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kaylum Boshier will captain the Chiefs in the absence of the injured Luke Jacobson against the Waratahs in an important game for the Waikato-based side.

Boshier, who took Taranaki to the NPC crown last year combines with Samipeni Finau and No 8 Wallace Sititi in the loose forwards.

The Chiefs are coming off the break and probably haven't risen to the peak many supporters would have thought.

The Chiefs backline has a real international look to it, but will require good ball away from home against a difficult Waratahs side who have an 8-5 winning record.

Chiefs: Shaun Stevenson, Emoni Narawa, Anton Lienert-Brown, Rameka Poihipi, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Damian McKenzie, Cortez Ratima, Wallace Sititi, Kaylum Boshier (capt), Samipeni Finau, Tupou Vaa’i, Jimmy Tupou, George Dyer, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Aidan Ross. Reserves: Tyrone Thompson, Jared Proffit, Reuben O’Neill, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Simon Parker, Xavier Roe, Josh Ioane, Quinn Tupaea

Hurricanes vs ACT Brumbies

Saturday, 4.35pm (NZT); GIO Stadium, Canberra

Strangely the Hurricanes have not won in Canberra since 2017 and could face backlash after the Brumbies were well beaten at Eden Park last week.

Ruben Love returns at fullback as the Canes side continues to look solid across the field and tries to maintain its unbeaten record for the season.

Can they go they go 9-0 for the season so far?

Hurricanes: Ruben Love, Kini Naholo, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Jordie Barrett, Salesi Rayasi, Brett Cameron, TJ Perenara, Brayden Iose, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Brad Shields (c), Isaia Walker-Leawere, Caleb Delany, Tyrel Lomax, James O’Reilly, Xavier Numia; Reserves: Raymond Tuputupu, Tevita Mafileo, Pasilio Tosi, Ben Grant, Peter Lakai, Richard Judd, Riley Higgins, Bailyn Sullivan

Highlanders vs Western Force

Saturday, 7.05pm; Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

After their beat down last week the Highlanders have decided to name arguably their strongest available side.

The forwards are strong with Fabian Holland and Mitch Dunshea in the middle row and the backs look solid.

Despite the unlikeliness of making the extended playoffs this game is crucial for the Highlanders as they need to prove themselves to their supporters and themselves into the halfway stage of the season.

Highlanders: Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, Timoci Tavatavanawai,. Tanielu Tele’a, Jake Te Hiwi, Connor Garden-Bachop, Rhys Patchell, Folau Fakatava, Billy Harmon (capt), Sean Withy, Oliver Haig, Fabian Holland, Mitch Dunshea, Saula Ma’ui, Henry Bell, Ethan de Groot. Reserves: Jack Taylor, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Jermaine Ainsley, Will Tucker, Hugh Renton, James Arscott, Cameron Millar, Martin Bogado

Queensland Reds vs Blues

Saturday 9.35pm (NZT): Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

The Blues have had a great defensive record over their last five games and look to be in form, although it's the Reds that hold an 8-6 advantage in Queensland, with another match drawn.

Mark Tele'a is on the wing, but Caleb Clarke gets some time on the bench while Patrick Tuipulotu captains the side as the loose forwards juggle positions with Akira Ioane out on maternity leave.

Blues: Cole Forbes, AJ Lam, Rieko Ioane, Bryce Heem, Mark Tele’a, Harry Plummer, Taufa Funaki; Hoskins Sotutu, Dalton Papali’i, Anton Segner, Sam Darry, Patrick Tuipulotu (capt), Angus Ta’avao, Soane Vikena, Ofa Tu’ungafasi. Reserves: Kurt Eklund, Joshua Fusitu’a, Marcel Renata, Lachlan McWhannell, James Thompson, Sam Nock, Corey Evans, Caleb Clarke


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