Tane Edmed will make his first Super Rugby start for a Waratahs side reeling from a lengthy injury and COVID-19 absentee list.
Read on for all the latest Super Rugby Pacific round six squad news.
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The old Wallaby still has it
MOANA PASIFIKA vs HURRICANES, Friday 5.05pm AEDT in Auckland
Moana Pasifika coach Aaron Mauger has given former Reds center Henry Taefu his first start against the Hurricanes.
“Henry has a strong physical presence and leadership qualities that will be really valuable on the field against the Hurricanes,” Mauger said.
“He has been training very well and raised his hand for selection over the weekend. Henry epitomizes ‘tautua’, which means to serve, and has been a true team man since the start of our campaign.”
Meanwhile, TJ Perenara will play his first Super Rugby game in 596 days after being named half-back for the Hurricanes.
The All Blacks veteran spent the last year playing in Japan and picked up an injury in pre-season.
Hurricanes coach Jason Holland also named three unselected players to his starting backline: No. 5 Aidan Morgan, center Teihorangi Walden and wing Josh Moorby.
“Aidan has been in our environment for a few years now and has all the skills and a good head on his shoulders,” Holland said.
“Teihorangi has been a hugely popular member of our squad since day one of pre-season and I can’t wait to see him in action. Moorby has also earned the respect of the squad very quickly and is an exciting prospect all over the world. back. Three.”
MOANA PASIFIKA (15-1): William Havili, Tima Fainga’anuku, Levi Aumua, Henry Taefu, Neria Fomua, Christian Leali’ifano, Jonathan Taumateine, Henry Time-Stowers, Solomone Funaki, Sione Tu’ipulotu, Samuel Slade, Veikoso Poloniati, Sekope Kepu (c), Samiuela Moli, Ezekiel Lindenmuth
Reservations: Ray Niuia, Taukiha’amea Koloamatagi, Joe Apikotoa, Alex McRobbie, Josh Kaifa, Ereatara Enari, Lincoln McClutchie, Danny Toala
HURRICANE (15-1): Jordie Barrett, Josh Moorby, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Teihorangi Walden, Wes Goosen, Aidan Morgan, TJ Perenara, Brayden Iose, Blake Gibson, Reed Prinsep (c), Scott Scrafton, Caleb Delany, Tyrel Lomax, Asafo Aumua, Xavier Numia
Reservations: James O’Reilly, Alex Fidow, Tevita Mafileo, Tom Parsons, Ardie Savea, Cameron Roigard, Ruben Love, Salesi Rayasi
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Young Rebel in tears after painful loss
REBELS vs DRUA, Friday 7.45pm AEDT in Melbourne
Rebels coach Kevin Foote has revamped his starting lineup as he continues to seek his first win of the 2022 season.
Center Stacey Ili, halfback James Tuttle, flanker Brad Wilkin, lock Josh Hill and prop Matt Gibbon are the new faces of the roster that lost to the Waratahs last weekend.
Meanwhile, Drua coach Mick Byrne has given hooker Zuriel Togiatama his first start.
“We believe more in what we’re doing and realizing that when we’re playing well, we’re in this competition,” Byrne said.
“Words like belief are living words – you get it by living it – and our belief gets stronger every week, so we deliver better.”
REBELS (15-1): Reece Hodge, Andrew Kellaway, Stacey Ili, Raymond Nu’u, Glen Vaihu, Matt To’omua, James Tuttle, Michael Wells (c), Richard Hardwick, Brad Wilkin, Josh Hill, Matt Philip, Cabous Eloff, Jordan Uelese, Matt Gibbon
Reservations: James Hanson, Cameron Orr, Rhys van Nek, Daniel Maiava, Sam Wallis, Joe Powell, Carter Gordon, George Worth
DRUA (15-1): Kitione Ratu, Selestino Ravutaumada, Apisalome Vota, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Vinaya Habosi, Teti Tela, Frank Lomani, Nemani Nagusa (c), Vilive Miramira, Joseva Tamani, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Zuriel Togiatama, Jone Koroiduadua
Reservations: Tevita Ikanivere, Haereiti Hetet, Samuela Tawake, Viliame Rarasea, Kitione Salawa, Peni Matawalu, Caleb Muntz, Jona Mataiciwa
Sean Maloney and Andrew Mehrtens are joined by Lori Cramer as they talk about Super W, Super Rugby Pacific and Six Nations. Seanny and Mehrts have new shirts, NSW referees have sent pies and Lori offers a selection for the “Weird Cat XV”.
FORCE vs BRUMBIES, Friday 10pm AEDT in Perth
Force coach Tim Sampson refreshed his starting lineup in a bid to hand the ladder-leading Brumbies their first loss of the season.
Winger Toni Pulu, center Kyle Godwin, flaker Kane Koteka and prop Santiago Medrano are the inclusions of the squad that snuck past the Drua last weekend.
Meanwhile, half-back Ryan Lonergan will lead a Brumbies side missing regular skipper Allan Alaalatoa and five-eighth Noah Lolesio.
Lonergan will partner Rod Iona in the halves while Sefo Kautai will start at close-headed prop in place of Alaalatoa.
“We’ve had a team mentality all season and we’re rotating a few guys this week who won an opportunity and got valuable recovery for a few players, especially Allan and Slips (James Slipper) who put some big changes into those first five rounds,” Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said.
“Watching Ryan Lonergan lead the team will be a proud day for everyone at the club and in ACT rugby who saw him come out on top as a child, but it is a responsibility he is more than ready and not much will change for him.”
STRENGTH (15-1): Jake Strachan, Toni Pulu, Kyle Godwin, Bayley Kuenzle, Manasa Mataele, Jake McIntyre, Ian Prior, Brynard Stander, Kane Koteka, Fergus Lee-Warner, Izack Rodda, Jeremy Thrush, Santiago Medrano, Feleti Kaitu’u (c), Harrison Lloyd
Reservations: Andrew Ready, Bo Abra, Greg Holmes, Tim Anstee, Ollie Callan, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Reesjan Pasitoa, Richard Kahui
BRUMBIES (15-1): Tom Banks, Tom Wright, Len Ikitau, Irae Simone, Andy Muirhead, Rod Iona, Ryan Lonergan (c), Pete Samu, Jahrome Brown, Rob Valetini, Nick Frost, Darcy Swain, Sefo Kautai, Lachlan Lonergan, Scott Sio
Reservations: Billy Pollard, Fred Kaihea, Tom Ross, Tom Hooper, Nic White, Hudson Creighton, Jesse Mogg
HIGHLANDERS vs BLUES, Saturday 2.35pm AEDT in Dunedin
HIGHLANDERS (to be confirmed)
BLUES (to be confirmed)
CHIEFS vs. CRUSADERS, Saturday 5:05 p.m. AEDT in Hamilton
CHEFS (to be confirmed)
CROSSED (to be confirmed)
REDS vs WARATAHS, Saturday 7.45pm AEDT in Brisbane
Reds co-captain Tate McDermott will return from an ankle injury in what is the only change to the 23 following last weekend’s narrow loss to the Brumbies.
“He’s back faster than expected, which is great for our program, and a huge credit to both Tate and our medical team,” Reds coach Brad Thorn said.
Meanwhile, Tane Edmed will make his first Super Rugby start for a Waratahs side reeling from a lengthy injury and a list of COVID-19 absentees.
Edmed will wear the NSW No.10 shirt for the first time and will have Welsh great Jamie Roberts on the outside after center Izaia Perese was ruled out under COVID-19 protocols.
Edmed replaces new Wallabies squad member Ben Donaldson (calf) with Michael Hooper, Jake Gordon, Lachie Swinton, James Turner, Jeremy Williams and James Ramm among the other unavailable players.
RED (15-1): Jordan Petaia, Jock Campbell, Hunter Paisami, Hamish Stewart, Josh Flook, James O’Connor, Tate McDermott (c), Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight (c), Seru Uru, Angus Blyth, Ryan Smith, Taniela Tupou, Josh Nasser, Danish Zander
Reservations: Matt Faessler, Harry Hoopert, Feao Fotuaika, Connor Vest, Liam Wright, Kalani Thomas, Lawson Creighton, Isaac Henry
WARS (15-1): Will Harrison, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Lalakai Foketi, Jamie Roberts, Alex Newsome, Tane Edmed, Jack Grant, Will Harris, Carlo Tizzano, Charlie Gamble, Geoff Cridge, Hugh Sinclair, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Dave Porecki, Tetera Faulkner
Reservations: Tom Horton/Mahe Vailanu, Angus Bell, Ruan Smith/Archer Holz, Jed Holloway, Langi Gleeson, Teddy Wilson, Dylan Pietsch, Triston Reilly
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