RICHARD FERGUSON updates keo.co.za followers of the latest Super Rugby news from New Zealand.
Change for Canes
The Hurricanes have made two changes for their clash with the Highlanders this weekend.
Tighthead Jeffery Toomaga-Allen is bracketed on the bench after picking up an injury with Ben May taking his spot in the front row. Fullback Andre Taylor is dropped to bench in favour of James Marshall.
The backup hooker is yet to be confirmed with both Matu’u and Dixon bracketed into the starting lineup. The last change, this to the bench, is the inclusion of Tusi Pisi, who joined the Hurricanes from Suntory in Japan.
Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 2. Motu Matu’u / Ash Dixon, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 tbc, 17 Reggie Goodes/Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Tusi Pisi, 22 Andre Taylor.
Filipo back in contention
Remember Ross Filipo? The big Crusaders lock? Yes, he is returning to Super Rugby, with the Chiefs, and he is now a loose forward.
Filipo left the Crusaders in 2009 to further his career in Europe, but is back in Super Rugby contention with the Chiefs squad preparing to take on the Kings this weekend.
Filipo is likely to be named on the bench cover the same loose trio that did the job against the Stormers, but a move to leave Messam out of the team might see him starting.
Crusaders unchanged for Bulls
Coach Todd Blackadder is hoping consistency in selection will help his team get off the mark this season.
The starting fifteen that lost to the Hurricanes last weekend stays the same, with a single change on the bench with Tom Taylor out injured, Tyler Bleyendaal comes onto the bench.
The Crusaders are looking to extend their winning streak over South African opposition, who haven’t managed a win in 17 years.
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Adam Whitelock.