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A CRACKING START TO SUPER RUGBY 2016 AS THE STORMERS STEAL THE SHOW

The first weekend of Super Rugby 2016 has come and gone quicker than my salary. A good weekend of rugby it was though. High paced and electrifying rugby was seen. Only three really big victories and 4 games that could have gone either way. Any rugby lover would be happy with the rugby they saw.

The Blues beat the Highlanders but as predicted this one went down to the wire. The Highlanders will kick themselves for the yellow card they received. This probably made the difference in the game. Both sides struggled with kicking at goal. Blues 33-31 Highlanders.

The Hurricanes will look back at the Brumbies game and wonder what happened. Yes they missed a kick or two, but the Brumbies out played them. Even when the Brumbies were down to 14 men, and this happened twice, the Hurricanes didn’t look like they could buy a try. Brumbies 52-10 Hurricanes.

The Cheetahs once again showed us how you can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Leading 24-3 at one stage, they still managed to lose. True the Jaguars played with 13 men when the Cheetahs scored their tries. Still one would think that when you have a 21 point lead you can build on that. Hats off however to the Jaguars that stuck to their guns. They did not allow the scoreboard to put pressure on them and though before the break. A well-deserved win by the new kids on the block. Cheetahs 33-34 Jaguars.

The Lions travelled to Tokyo and although the Sunwolves had 4 world cup players in their team, the Lions were not overwhelmed at all. The Wolves played good rugby and the Lions did not have it all their own way. Both teams a gain missed crucial kicks at goal. Still it was a good show of running rugby. Sunwolves 13-26 Lions. Both sides still have some work to do going forward.

The Crusaders missed Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. Although they led the game for most of 65 minutes it was the last 15 minutes that mattered. The Chiefs came back and scored two late tries giving them a victory. Missed kicks at goal could have made the result much different but only that it would have given the Chiefs a bigger winning margin. Crusaders 21 -27 Chiefs.

The Waratahs versus Reds game was true to form. Both of these sides can be contenders in Australia and it is always a hard game. The Waratahs made sure of the win in the first half and the Reds were always going to struggle to come back. The fact that they got two yellow cards didn’t help them much. Waratahs 30-10 Reds.

The Force v Rebels game remained true to history. The away side winning although this time it was with a slightly bigger margin than what we have come to expect between these two sides. The Force will rue the mistakes made on the attack as this gave the Rebels just what they needed. In the end a good old contest between two equally strong sides. Force 19-25 Rebels.

The Kings started well but then they just fizzled out against the Sharks. The Sharks were always going to win this one, but I expected much more of a fight from the Kings. The off the field woes of the Eastern Cape side has carried over on to the field. The Sharks can also not read too much into the victory taking into account the opponents. Hopefully the Kings can sort out their problems and rather sooner than later or it will be a long season for them. Kings 8-43 Sharks.

The game of the weekend was the Stormers versus Bulls game and the first half lived up to expectations with the home side leading only 9-6. The second half however was a totally different ball game. The Stormers came out with a vengeance and it showed. The play of the weekend being the driving maul from their own 22. It looked like a freight train without brakes and the Bulls could only look on as it stormed forward. At one stage it looked like the Bulls players falling back was helping the maul move towards their own tryline. The Stormers will be happy with their performance while the Bulls can’t take a lot of positives from the game. Stormers 33-9 Bulls.

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SUPER RUGBY 2016 ABOUT TO KICK-OFF

The coming weekend sees the kick-off of Super Rugby 2016. A lot has been said and written about the new format and two debutant teams. Pre-season games have been played and many have read into this and what we can expect for the season to come. However until the first weekend is over we will not truly know where the teams stand. Here is a look at what the weekend holds in store for us.

The Blues will take on the highlanders in the opening game of the season. This is always a good game to watch as both teams can rate themselves as contenders for the number 1 spot in the New Zealand conference. The last couple of seasons however both of these sides struggled in the first couple of weeks. Expect some good running rugby. The Blues to take this one purely because they have the home ground advantage. Kick-off at 8h35 SA time at Eden Park.

The Brumbies will then take on the Hurricanes at the GIO Stadium at 10h45 SA time. This is another good match up with two of Australia’s top 3 teams playing against each other. The Hurricanes have never really lived up to their potential in the past, but they have been known to make the front runners stumble. The Brumbies is always a side to watch. Again I will give this to the Brumbies due to the home ground advantage, but they will have to counter the Hurricanes up front. If not they will struggle to win.

One of the games that will have most neutrals pinned to their seats will be the Cheetahs vs Jaguars game. Purely because everyone will want to see what the Jaguars are going to bring to the table. This game should be filled with fast paced action and a lot of running. However the scrum and rolling maul will play a big part as well. That is if the Jaguars will stick to the tried and tested Argentinian style of rugby. Most will give this game to the Cheetahs. But to be honest I see the Jaguars winning this one. This is the perfect game to finish off Friday’s action. Kick-off at 19h00 in Bloemfontein.

Saturday will see an early start for Lions fans. The Sunwolves host the Lions in Tokyo with kick-off at 6h15. This will have many neutrals up early as well. The Lions did not have the best of warmup games but I will not read too much into that. The Sunwolves are an unknown factor. Still if the Lions stick to what they do best, running the ball and using the forwards to get quick ball, they should win this one. Then again we all know what Japan did against the Springboks in the World Cup. I am hoping to see fast running rugby in this game.

The Crusaders and Chiefs game is one of the two games of the weekend for me. The Crusaders has lost some key players and this might impact on them in a negative way. The Chiefs, as we all know, are one of those teams that can have a brilliant game one week and the next look like they have not played together in months. This game will see some good running rugby with hard tackles and lots of turnover ball. This is another game where I am going against the main stream and pick the Chiefs to win.

In Australia the Waratahs and Reds will take each other one. Easy pick is the Waratahs to win. I just can’t see the Reds winning this one. Then we also have the Force and Rebels taking each other on. If history serves t be right the Rebels will win as they are playing away from home.

The Kings vs Sharks game should be an easy pick, but both sides have been going through some of the field issues. The Sharks struggled of last season and unless there has been a monumental mind shift in the squad i don’t believe that it has changed. Management and players are essentially the same. The Kings are in financial crisis and players are begging to get paid. This can’t be good for them either. Still the Sharks should win this one.

The Game of the weekend will end of the action on Saturday. The Stormers take on the Bulls. This is never a high scoring game and kicking should play a big part in the outcome. Still running rugby is always on the cards. The Stormers are under a caretaker coach of sorts and the Bulls have their tails up after some good warmup results. The game however is played at Newlands and it has become extremely difficult to beat the Cape side at home in recent seasons. The Stormers should win this by a slim margin.

NZ Super Rugby weekend at a glance

With only South African and New Zealand teams in Super Rugby action this weekend, here is a quick look at what to expect from the “Land of the thin white cloud”.

The Chiefs and Hurricanes will kick-off the weekend’s action in Hamilton at the Waikato Stadium. Kick-off is at 9:35 SA time. The Hurricanes still has a very real chance of reaching the play-offs, but for that they need to win at least 2 of their last 3 games. The Chiefs need just 11 points from their last three games to secure top spot. This is once again a game that neither team will want to lose.
Prediction: Chiefs by 7.

Saturday morning at 9:35 the Highlanders will host the Crusaders at the Forsyth-Barr Stadium in Dunedin. The Highlanders are well and truly out of this year’s competition. They are just looking to get out of last place and by doing that they will do many teams a favour by winning. The Crusaders still has an outside chance of topping the NZ conference, but would just want to cement a top 6 finish and through that make it easier on themselves in the play-offs.

Prediction: Crusaders by 10.

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Cheetahs leave it too late against Hurricanes

A brilliant second half performance saw the Hurricanes beat the Cheetahs 39-34. It was a game of two halves in the words of Bill McLaren. The first half saw only 8 penalties, 4 each.

This game kicked of at a blistering pace with both teams running the ball at each other. It was however like a high school dance with a lot of action but nobody scoring. Burton Francis and Beauden Barrett trade four penalties each to make it 12 all at the break. the best part of the half was the two runs by Coenie Oosthuizen. First he tumbled his way forward out of two tackles. Then came the run that saw James Lamb walking off the field dazed. Oosthuizen bounced him off like pinball. I must say it did look like a tank up against a Mini Cooper.

The Second half was a total different story to the first one. The Hurricanes ran in four tries to the Cheetahs’ three. With 10 minutes to go the Cheetahs trailed by 20 points before they woke up and started scoring tries. It was however a lit bit a little to late. Still it was a game well worth watching as Coenie Oosthuizen, the big prop, scored two tries and had a couple of good runs.

The Cheetahs will look back at this game and realise that they could have won it had it not been for their own relaxed attitude. They played against themselves at times. The Hurricanes capitalised on this.

Scorers
Cheetahs 34 – Penalties:
Burton Francis x 4, Elgar Watts. Conversions: Elgar Watts x 2. Tries: Robert Ebersohn, Coenie Oosthuizen x 2

Hurricanes 39 – Penalties: Beauden Barrett x 5. Conversions: Beauden Barrett x 2. Tries: TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Julian Savea, Victor Vito.

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Hurricanes & All Blacks winger in court for assualt

Hurricanes and All Blacks winger Julian Savea has been charged with common assault and will appear in the Wellington District Court tomorrow, the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby confirmed today.

Hurricanes CEO James Te Puni said today that the charge related to a domestic incident last Sunday.

“Obviously, we are disappointed to have this situation emerge, but we must now let the judicial process run its course.  The key thing for us is to support the families as they work through what is a very difficult time.
 
“I have spoken with Julian who is deeply upset to be in this position and now needs to deal with the situation,” he added.

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said: “We were very disappointed to learn of this incident and Julian’s subsequent charge. We appreciate this is a distressing time for all those affected and we are also helping support the families.

“As his employer, we want to ensure that our process regarding misconduct proceedings also respects his right to a fair hearing in court, so we will await the conclusion of the court process.

“Without judging the rights or wrongs of this case, we are concerned that this is another incident involving a young player.  We need to find out whether we are doing enough to help these young men cope with the pressures of the professional game.

“As a result of these various incidents, we will be undertaking an independent assessment of the support we provide players from their time of induction into the professional game.”

Te Puni said Savea had also appeared on posters last year as part of the It’s Not OK campaign against family violence.

“Given that, Julian is embarrassed and apologetic he now finds himself in this situation,” Te Puni said.

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Blues hammer Hurricanes

The Blues hammered the Hurricanes with 4 tries to none and 28-6 in a game that had even the spectators out of breath when the final whistle went.

The Blues had a promising start as they ran the ball from their own 22 before chipping it over the defence. The touchline however won out. The Hurricanes got lucky as a TMO referral for foul play, forearm to the face, resulted in only a penalty against Franks. These two teams played the first Super Rugby match back 1996 and today they are still in each other faces. Hard rugby being played. Both sides used the kicks effectively in the opening stages of the game yet they were not scared to run the ball.

The Blues drew first blood after working the ball nicely. They moved it quickly and Frank Halai went over under the posts. The Blues went straight back on the attack from the restart but squandered a scoring opportunity. The Hurricanes moved the ball down to the other side of the pitch before Barrett missed a penalty attempt. After a long period that saw both sides moving across the field, Tusi Pisi slotted a drop goal for the Hurricanes. Beauden Barrett reduced the deficit further with a penalty shortly after. A messy passage of play ensued from both sides that nearly saw the Blues score. TJ Perenara stopped a possible try from the Blues. He held up a player in the tackle. The second time he saved the Hurricanes in the half. The Blues did score as the hooter went through Charles Piutau.

The Blues started the second half they way they ended the first by scoring a try through James Parsons. This also signalled the beginning of the end for the Hurricanes. The Blues kept on applying pressure and it nearly paid off for Piutau but he knocked the ball on as he went over the line. The Hurricanes couldn’t clear their lines and the blues got the bonus point try through Tom McCartney. The Hurriacnes just didn’t seem to have answers for the Blues attack. The Hurricanes did get over the line but the Blues held them up through a brilliant tackle.

The Hurricanes started running everything as they got desperate. This opened up the game and some exciting rugby was on display by both sides for the last 20 minutes. The ball getting air and being moved from goal line to goal line and touchline to touchline. The Hurricanes just didn’t have any luck as a Julian Seavea try was disallowed because the ball he intercepted was passed from a Blues player with a foot in touch.

Jaco Peyper had a brilliant game and he allowed it to flow with good advantage play. He also went to the TMO when not sure but not for everything.

Scorers
Blues 28 – Tries:
Frank Halai, Charles Piutau, James Parsons, Tom McCartney Conversions: Chris Noakes (4).
Hurricanes 6 – Penalty: Beauden Barrett Drop goal: Tusi Pisi
Referee: Jaco Peyper.

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Hurricanes defeat spirited Kings

The Hurricanes dealt the Kings their second defeat on tour but it was not as convincing as expected. The Hurricanes kept the Kings in the game through mistakes in their 46-30 victory.

It looked like the Kings would be in for a long day when the Hurricanes scored their first try within 3 minutes from kick-off through Ben May. Beauden Barrett extended the lead to 10 points in the 9 minute through a penalty. Then the Kings hit back through a brilliant steven Sykes try. Sykes got the ball at the ruck and went straight over as the Hurricanes defense got caught looking the wrong way.

A Conrad Smith try restored the 10 point lead before Dimitri Catrakilis slotted a penalty moments later. TJ Perenara and Jeremy Trush secured the Bonus Point for. The Hurricanes before the break.

After the break the Kings closed the gap to 23-29 when Ronnie Cooke scored. They just couldn’t make it count as they got close to taking the lead. It looked like the flood gates would open as the Hurricanes scored two tries and a ppenalty to take the lead to 23 points. They however made some silly mistakes and Hannes Franklin scored a try for the Kings.

The Hurricanes were maybe trying to much and didn’t show enough patience costing them points. The Kings defense was not up to the standard the displayed earlier this season and they scored of Hurricanes mistakes.

SCORERS
Hurricanes 46 – Tries:
Ben May, Conrad Smith, TJ Perenara, Jeremy Thrush, Brad Shields, Alapati Leiua. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (5). Penalties: Barrett (2).
Kings 30 – Tries: Steven Sykes, Ronnie Cooke, Hannes Franklin. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (2), George Whitehead. Penalties: Catrakilis (3).

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Hurricanes blow Highlanders away

Hurricanes (rugby union)

Hurricanes (rugby union) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Hurricanes have been know to lose close games but this season and the last two weeks it seems that they have learned how to win these. First there was the close 29-28 win last week against the Crusaders and this week they did it to the highlanders.

The Hurricanes started off strongly and dominated the first 20-25 minutes scoring a try and looking good on defence. The Highlanders came back and after that and kicked 2 penalties before scoring a converted try before the break. The Hurricanes also scored a converted try, but the Highlanders took the halftime lead 13-12. After the break the Highlanders kicked another penalty and they started to open up a lead on the Hurricanes. This was however short lived as the Hurricanes answered with a try of their own. With 23 minutes left the Higlanders had regained the lead with a penalty and it was 19-17. The Highlanders discipline however let them down and they gifted 2 penalties to the Hurricanes which allowed them to seal the game and win it 23-19.

The Highlanders will be disappointed with their performance today. Especially their defence that allowed a Hurricanes team, who’s attack is not looking that great, to run in 3 tries. Their discipline at the end was also not that great and giving away two late penalties that cost them the game will not go down well with the coaching staff. Attcking they never looked like they would just run through the Hurricanes defence and this will be something that they will work on.

The HUrricanes will be pleased with their performance although the kicking department needs some work. A 50% kicking record on the night means that they could have sealed out the game much earlier than they did. 10 points left on the field is a lot in SupeRugby. Defensively they are looking better and better each week and their attack looked sharp today. They will however want to get away from these close call games.

SCORERS

Highlanders – Try: Hosea Gear. Conversion: Colin Slade. Penalties: Colin Slade (4).

Hurricanes – Tries: Conrad Smith, Ben Franks, TJ Perenara. Conversion: Beauden Barrett (1). Penalties: Beauden Barrett (2).

SUPER RUGBY 2013: ROUND 2 PREVIEW

2012 Super Rugby season

Last weekend saw the official start of Super Rugby 2013. It was however a weekend that left me with mixed feelings regarding the rugby played. The game between the Rebels and the Force kept me interested as you never knew who would score next or win the game. The Brumbies v Reds game was the normal boring Australian derby. Not much happening and one team doing all the playing. For New Zealand and South African fans Super Rugby only really starts this weekend. And what a line-up of games we have.

Highlanders v Chiefs

The Highlanders will face the defending champions in the weekend’s opening game. This will not be an easy game for the home side but they will be looking for a convincing performance even if they lose. The Highlanders have knocked on the door for a couple of seasons. They will want to make it to the play-offs this season. The Chiefs will look to carry on where they left off last season and keep on winning and staying at the top. They will know that the Highlanders are not an easy team to just beat at home but should have the players and legs to pull it off.

Rebels v Brumbies

The two winning sides from the first round will square of against each other in the first of the Australia Derbies. I’m not expecting much from the game. The Rebels showed some good attacking skills last week, but discipline is still a problem. The Force missed 7 points at goal in that game and at one stage had only 13 men on the field. The Rebels therefore can count themselves lucky that they did win. The Brumbies squandered chances and this might cost them against a more attacking team. There defence however is solid and Jake White’s influence is starting to show. The winner of this game will be well on their way to topping the Australian log for a while.

 Bulls v Stormers

Probably the game of the weekend for Super Rugby fans. This is always a hard game with both teams going all out and not giving an inch. The Bulls had a good run in their warm-up games, but has had a couple of setbacks due to injury. The Stormers lost against the Cheetahs in the warm-ups and they have key personnel out as well. Still this derby is always one to watch even for the neutrals. It will be filled with hard-hitting tackles, good forward play and running rugby. The winner of this game will be eyeing the conference title in South Africa.

Hurricanes v Blues

The Hurricanes showed some promise towards the end of last season and will want to improve. They can be knocking on the door of the top 2 spots in New Zealand. The Blues will want to show that they are on their way back to the top of New Zealand rugby but it will not be easy for either side. Discipline hampered both sides last year as did injuries. Again this can become an interesting game to watch.

Reds v Waratahs

The Reds will want to put last weekend’s loss behind them and come out guns blazing in this encounter. They will have to improve on their goal kicking as this cost them last weekend. They have at least got their first game under the belt and will not be as rusty. The Waratahs will be a bit rusty and this might just count against them. They should however be able to beat the Reds if the Reds play anything like last weekend. In the end it will be another Australian Derby that most people will probably not watch.

Cheetahs v Sharks

The Cheetahs showed in their warm-up games that they have the ability to beat some of the bigger teams. They are however not favourites to win the conference or the title. The Sharks did not really challenge themselves in the warm-up games. This will be the first real test of how good the team is and what we can expect of them during the season.

Kings v Force

This the game that every Lions fan will watch as will most of South Africa. The Kings did not perform well at all in the warm-up games they played, managing to win only 1 game out of 3. Not much is expected of them as this is their first season in Super Rugby and we know that teams normally struggle in their first season. The Kings have however been telling everyone that they will perform better than the Lions and now it is time to put their money where their mouths are. The Force will look back at last week’s loss and know they gave the game away. 3 missed kicks and a lack of discipline cost them. If they can improve on that this should be an away win for them

Whichever team you support, may you have a great weekend of watching rugby.

 

Your Super Rugby squads for 2013

Super Rugby 2013 is set to start on 15 February 2013. All the squads have been finalised and the teams are getting for a long season. Here is the 40-man squads of the various teams.

STORMERS
Props: Deon Carstens, Patric Cilliers, Brok Harris, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe
Hookers: Deon Fourie, Tiaan Liebenberg, Siyabonga Ntubeni
Locks: Andries Bekker, Ruan Botha, Eben Etzebeth, De Kock Steenkamp
Loose Forwards: Don Armand, Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Rynhardt Elstadt, Siya Kolisi, Michael Rhodes, Duane Vermeulen
Scrum-halves: Dewaldt Duvenage, Nic Groom, Louis Schreuder
Fly-halves: Peter Grant, Elton Jantjies, Gary van Aswegen
Centres: Marcel Brache, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, JP du Plessis
Wingers: Gio Aplon, Damian de Allende,
Bryan Habana, Gerhard van den Heever
Fullbacks: Joe Pietersen, Jaco Taute

KINGS
Forwards:
Rynier Bernardo, David Bullbring, Kevin Buys, Cornell du Preez, Jacques Engelbrecht, Jaco Engels, Schalk Ferreira, Hannes Franklin, Ross Geldenhuys, Lizo Gqoboka, Virgil Lacombe, Tomas Leonardi, Bandise Maku, Edgar Marutlulle, Mpho Mbiyozo, Darron Nell, Daniel Adongo, Devin Oosthuizen, Steven Sykes, Wimpie van der Walt, Luke Watson (captain)

Backs:
Demetri Catrakilis, Ronnie Cooke, Wesley Dunlop, Siyanda Grey, Johan Herbst, Michael Killian, SP Marais, Scott Mathie, Waylon Murray, Hadleigh Parkes, Sergeal Petersen, Marcello Sampson, Shakes Soyizwapi, Wayne Stevens, Andries Strauss, Elrich van Vuuren, Shaun Venter, Nicolas Vergallo, George Whitehead

SHARKS
Props: Dale Chadwick, Jannie du Plessis, Wiehahn Herbst, Tendai Mtawarira, Julian Redelinghuys
Hookers: Craig Burden, Kyle Cooper, Monde Hadebe, Bismarck du Plessis (vc)
Locks: Anton Bresler, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jandré Marais, Peet Marais, Franco van der Merwe
Loose Forwards: Willem Alberts, Jacques Botes, Marcell Coetzee, Keegan Daniel (c), Jean Deysel, Ryan Kankowski, Francois Kleinhans, Lubabalo Mtembu
Scrum Halves: Conrad Hoffmann, Charl McLeod, Cobus Reinach
Fly Halves: Butch James, Patrick Lambie
Centres: Meyer Bosman, Paul Jordaan, Wandile Mjekevu, François Steyn, Tim Whitehead, Heimar Williams
Wingers: Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, JP Pietersen, Sibusiso Sithole
Full Backs: Louis Ludik, Gouws Prinsloo, Riaan Viljoen

CHEETAHS
Props: Lourens Adriaanse, Rossouw de Klerk, Trevor Nyakane, Caylib Oosthuizen, Coenie Oosthuizen, Schalk van der Merwe
Hookers: Ryno Barnes, Hercu Liebenberg, Adriaan Strauss, Torsten van Jaarsveld
Locks: Lodewyk de Jager, Andries Ferreira, Ligtoring Landman, Martin Muller, Francois Uys, Waltie Vermeulen
Loose Forwards: Heinrich Brüssow, Lappies Labuschagné, Boom Prinsloo, Davon Raubenheimer, Marnus Schoeman, Philip van der Walt
Scrum-halves: Tewis de Bruyn, Sarel Pretorius, Piet van Zyl
Fly-halves: Francois Brummer, Johan Goosen, Elgar Watts
Centres: Robert Ebersohn, Joubert Engelbrecht, Barry Geel, JP Nel, Johann Sadie
Wingers: Rayno Benjamin, Jannie Boshoff, Cameron Jacobs, Rocco Jansen, Dusty Noble, Raymond Rhule, Nico Scheepers
Fullbacks: Hennie Daniller, Willie le Roux, Riaan Smit

BULLS
Props: Dean Greyling, Frik Kirsten, Werner Kruger, Morné Mellett, Juan Schoeman, Basil Short, Dawie Steyn, Marcel van der Merwe, Hencus van Wyk
Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Callie Visagie, Willie Wepener
Locks: Cornell Hess, Juandré Kruger, Marvin Orie, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Flip van der Merwe, Schalk van Heerden, Paul Willemse, Mike Williams
Loose Forwards: Shaun Adendorff, Arno Botha, Jean Cook, Corné Cooper, Jacques du Plessis, Grant Hattingh, Wiaan Liebenberg, Dewald Potgieter, Jacques Potgieter, Pierre Spies (c), Deon Stegmann
Scrum Halves: Francois Hougaard, Lohan Jacobs, Rudy Paige, Ruan Snyman, Jano Vermaak
Fly Halves: Louis Fouché, Tony Jantjies, Handré Pollard, Tiaan Schoeman, Morné Steyn
Centres: Ulrich Beyers, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Daniel Kriel, Lionel Mapoe, Wynand Olivier, Jan Serfontein, William Small-Smith, Francois Venter
Wingers: Bjorn Basson, Clayton Blommetjies, JJ Engelbrecht, Travis Ismaiel, Sampie Mastriet, Akona Ndungane
Full Backs: Zane Kirchner, Jesse Kriel, Jürgen Visser

BLUES
Props: Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney,
Tim Perry, Angus Ta’avao, Ofa Tu’ungafasi
Hookers: Quentin MacDonald, Keven Mealamu, James Parsons
Locks: Anthony Boric, Liaki Moli, Ronald Raaymakers, Culum Retallick, Ali Williams
Loose Forwards: Kane Barrett, Luke Braid, Steve Luatua, Brendon O’Connor, Peter Saili
Scrum-halves: Jamison Gibson-Park, Bryn Hall, Piri Weepu
Fly-halves: Baden Kerr, Chris Noakes
Centres: Malakai Fekitoa, Francis Saili, Jackson Willison
Wings: Frank Halai, George Moala, Waisake Naholo, Rene Ranger
Fullbacks: Marty McKenzie, Charles Piutau

CRUSADERS
Props: Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody
Hookers: Corey Flynn, Ben Funnell, Codie Taylor
Locks: Dominic Bird, Tom Donnelly, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock
Loose Forwards: Shane Christie,Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Jimmy Tupou, George Whitelock, Luke Whitelock
Scrum-halves: Andrew Ellis, Jeremy Su’a, Willi Heinz
Fly-halves: Tyler Bleyendaal, Dan Carter, Tom Taylor
Centres: Ryan Crotty, Robbie Fruean, Adam Whitelock
Wings: Zac Guildford, Johnny McNicholl
Fullbacks: Israel Dagg, Tom Marshall

CHIEFS
Props: Ben Afeaki, Josh Hohneck, Solomona Sakalia, Toby Smith, Ben Tameifuna
Hookers: Hikawera Elliot, Rhys Marshall, Mahonri Schwalger
Locks: Craig Clarke, Michael Fitzgerald, Romana Graham, Brodie Retallick
Loose Forwards: Sam Cane, Nick Crosswell, Ross Filipo, Tanerau Latimer, Fritz Lee, Liam Messam
Scrum-halves: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Brendon Leonard, Augustine Pulu
Fly-halves: Gareth Anscombe, Aaron Cruden
Centres: Bundee Aki, Richard Kahui, Charlie Ngatai
Wings: Lelia Masaga, Tim Nanai-Williams, Patrick Osborne, Asaeli Tikoirotuma
Fullbacks: Andrew Horrell, Robbie Robinson

HIGHLANDERS
Props: Ma’afu Fia, Chris King, Jamie Mackintosh, Tony Woodcock
Hookers: Liam Coltman, Andrew Hore, Brayden Mitchell
Locks: Josh Bekhuis, Jarrad Hoeata, Brad Thorn, Joe Wheeler
Loose Forwards: Tim Boys, Elliot Dixon, John Hardie, Nasi Manu, Jake Paringatai
Scrum-halves: Aaron Smith, Fumiaki Tanaka
Fly-halves: Hayden Parker, Colin Slade, Lima Sopoaga
Centres: Phil Burleigh, Tamati Ellison, Jason Emery, Ma’a Nonu, Shaun Treeby
Wings: Hosea Gear, Declan O’Donnell, Kade Poki, Buxton Popoali’i
Fullbacks: Ben Smith

HURRICANES
Props: Ben Franks, Reggie Goodes, Ben May, Eric Sione, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
Hookers: Dane Coles, Motu Matu’u
Locks: James Broadhurst, Jason Eaton, Mark Reddish, Jeremy Thrush 
Loose Forwards: Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, Karl Lowe, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Blade Thomson, Victor Vito
Scrum-halves: Samisoni Fisilau, TJ Perenara, Chris Smylie
Fly-halves: Beauden Barrett, James Marshall, Tusi Pisi
Centres: Tim Bateman, Rey Lee-Lo, Conrad Smith
Wings: Cory Jane, Alapati Leiua, Matt Proctor, Julian Savea
Fullbacks: Andre Taylor

BRUMBIES
Props: Ben Alexander, Ruaidhri Murphy, Dan Palmer, Scott Sio
Hookers: Stephen Moore, Siliva Siliva
Locks: Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Etienne Oosthuizen, Leon Power
Loose Forwards: Fotu Auelua, Colby Fainga’a, Peter Kimlin, Ben Mowen, David Pocock, Ita Vaea
Scrum-halves: Ian Prior, Nic White
Fly-halves: Zack Holmes, Christian Lealiifano, Matt Toomua
Centres: Tevita Kuridrani, Pat McCabe, Clyde Rathbone, Andrew Smith
Wings: Tom Cox, Henry Speight, Joseph Tomane
Fullbacks: Robbie Coleman, Jesse Mogg

WARATAHS
Props: Sekope Kepu, Benn Robinson, Paddy Ryan, Jeremy Tilse
Hookers: Damien Fitzpatrick, Tatafu Polota-Nau, John Ulugia
Locks: Ollie Atkins, Kane Douglas, Greg Peterson, Sitaleki Timani
Loose Forwards: Mitchell Chapman, Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper, Pat McCutcheon, Wycliff Palu, Lopeti Timani
Scrum-halves: Grayson Hart, Brendan McKibbin
Fly-halves: Berrick Barnes, Bernard Foley
Centres: Tom Carter, Israel Folau, Michael Hodge, Rob Horne
Wingers: Peter Betham, Tom Kingston, Drew Mitchell, Lachlan Turner
Fullbacks: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Cam Crawford

REDS
Props: Ben Daley, Greg Holmes, Jono Owen, James Slipper
Hookers: Albert Anae, Saia Fainga’a, James Hanson
Locks: James Horwill, David McDuling, Rob Simmons, Adam Wallace-Harrison
Loose Forwards: Liam Gill, Ed Quirk, Beau Robinson, Radike Samo, Jake Schatz
Scrum-Halves: Nick Frisby, Will Genia
Fly-Halves: Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas
Centres: Anthony Fainga’a, Michael Harris, Jono Lance, Ben Tapuai, Aidan Toua
Wings: Chris Feauai-Sautia, Digby Ioane, Dom Shipperley
Fullbacks: Rod Davies, Luke Morahan

REBELS
Props: Eddie Aholelei, Paul Alo-Emile, Nic Henderson, Laurie Weeks
Hookers: Ged Robinson, Shota Horie
Locks: James King, Cadeyrn Neville, Hugh Pyle, Chris Thomson
Loose Forwards: Tim Davidson, Gareth Delve, Scott Fuglistaller, Scott Higginbotham, Luke Jones, Jarrod Saffy
Scrum-halves: Richard Kingi, Nick Phipps, Nic Stirzaker
Fly-halves: James O’Connor
Centres: Mitch Inman, Lachlan Mitchell, Alex Rokobaro, Rory Sidey
Wingers: Kimami Sitauti, Cooper Vuna
Fullbacks: Kurtley Beale, Angus Roberts, Jason Woodward

FORCE
Props: Pekahou Cowan, Tetera Faulkner, Kieran Longbottom, Salesi Ma’afu
Hookers: Nathan Charles, Ben Whittaker
Locks: Phoenix Battye, Toby Lynn, Hugh McMeniman, Sam Wykes
Loose Forwards: Chris Alcock, Richard Brown, Angus Cottrell, Matt Hodgson, Lachlan McCaffrey, Ben McCalman
Scrum-halves: Alby Mathewson, Brett Sheehan
Fly-halves: Sias Ebersohn, Kyle Godwin
Centres: Patrick Dellit, Jayden Hayward, Solomoni Rasolea, Winston Stanley, Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Will Tupou
Wingers: Nick Cummins, Alfie Mafi, Ed Stubbs
Fullbacks: Sam Norton-Knight

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