The New South Wales Waratahs have been forced into five changes ahead of their Saturday night date with the Highlanders, including the losses of Angus Bell, Te Tera Faulkner and Harry Johnson-Holmes.
It means the front row now comprises Andrew Tuala and Darcy Breen alongside David Porecki at hooker. The injury carnage means the Tahs haven’t even named a reserve tighthead prop on the teamsheet.
The Tahs have also lost Ben Donaldson to a groin injury, meaning Will Harrison now joins Jake Gordon in the halves and Tane Edmed joins the bench.
Co-coaches Chris Whitaker and Jason Gimore have also elected to promote Carlo Tizzano to the run-on XV for the first time this Trans-Tasman season, moving Will Harris to the bench and Jack Dempsey to number eight.
The Queensland Reds have named an unchanged XV for their Friday night Super Rugby Trans-Tasman encounter with the Blues, but both Fraser McReight and Seru Uru have been left out of the matchday squad entirely.
Coach Brad Thorn has rewarded the entire starting side that raced out to a 33-3 halftime lead against the Chiefs, but McReight and Uru would seem to be casualties of the lacklustre finish from the bench unit which saw the Reds end up winning by less than a converted try.
The duo have been replaced amongst the reserves by Angus Blyth and Sam Wallis, while Moses Sorovi in for Kalani Thomas is the third and final change to the squad.
The match will be the 100th Super Rugby appearance for Reds flyhalf and co-captain James O’Connor.
The Blues, meanwhile, welcome back All Blacks prop Ofa Tuungafasi to their squad, and lock Patrick Tuipulotu returns to the starting XV for the first time in more than two months. Tuipuloptu takes the captaincy back off Tom Robinson, and there’s a change in the back row, with Akira Ioane starting at number eight and Hoskins Sotutu moving to the bench.
“There’s not much in it between the two,” Blues coach Leon MacDonald said.
“Aki got the nod just because of his defensive physicality… but expect to see Hoskins early as well.”
Meanwhile, the Western Force have made four changes to their run-on XV ahead of Friday night’s tough matchup with the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Tevita Kuridrani returns to the line-up at outside centre, shifting Richard Kahui to the left wing and Jordan Olowofela to the pine, while Jake Strachan will replace Rob Kearney at fullback due to Kearney succumbing to concussion.
In the forwards, Ollie Callan will make his first ever start for the Force at number eight (Tim Anstee has gone to the reserves), while Felite Kaitu’u replaces Andrew Ready (also on the bench) at hooker.
Ian Prior will have to celebrate Super Rugby cap number 100 from the interchange bench.
Super Rugby Trans-Tasman line-ups are named at least 48 hours before kick-off. Be sure to come back to this page throughout the week as more teams are announced.
Friday, 5:05pm (AEST), Orangetheory Stadium
1. Tamaiti Williams, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Michael Alaalatoa. 4. Scott Barrett (c), 5. Mitchell Dunshea, 6. Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7. Sione Havili Talitui, 8. Cullen Grace, 9. Bryn Hall, 10. Fergus Burke, 11. Leicester Fainga’anuku, 12. David Havili, 13. Braydon Ennor, 14. Manasa Mataele, 15. Will Jordan
Reserves: 16. Nathan Vella, 17. Isileli Tu’ungafasi, 18. Oliver Jager, 19. Luke Romano, 20. Tom Sanders, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Dallas McLeod, 23. Josh McKay
1. Tom Robertson, 2. Feleti Kaitu’u, 3. Santiago Medrano, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 5. Sitaleki Timani, 6. Fergus Lee-Warner, 7. Kane Koteka, 8. Ollie Callan, 9. Tomás Cubelli, 10. Domingo Miotti, 11. Richard Kahui, 12. Kyle Godwin (c), 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Toni Pulu, 15. Jake Strachan.
Reserves: 16. Andrew Ready, 17. Angus Wagner, 18. Greg Holmes, 19. Ryan McCauley, 20. Tim Anstee, 21. Ian Prior, 22. Jake McIntyre, 23. Jordan Olowofela
Friday, 7:45pm (AEST), Suncorp Stadium
(15-1): Bryce Hegarty, Suliasi Vunivalu, Hunter Paisami, Isaac Henry, Filipo Daugunu, James O’Connor (c), Tate McDermott, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright (c), Angus Scott-Young, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Ryan Smith, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Feao Fotuaika
Reserves: Josh Nasser, Dane Zander, Zane Nonggorr, Angus Blyth, Sam Wallis, Moses Sorovi, Hamish Stewart, Ilaisa Droasese
(15-1): Zarn Sullivan, Bryce Heem, Rieko Ioane, TJ Faiane, Mark Telea, Otere Black, Finlay Christie, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Tom Robinson, Patrick Tuipulotu (c), Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Ofa Tuungafasi, Kurt Eklund, Karl Tu’inukuafe
Reserves: Soane Vikena, Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Jacob Pierce, Hoskins Sotutu, Jonathan Ruru, Harry Plummer, AJ Lam
Saturday, 5:05pm (AEST), Forsyth Barr Stadium
1. Ethan de Groot, 2. Ash Dixon (c), 3. Siate Tokolahi, 4. Pari Pari Parkinson, 5. Bryn Evans, 6. James Lentjes, 7. Billy Harmon, 8. Kazuki Himeno, 9. Kayne Hammington, 10. Mitch Hunt, 11 Jona Nareki, 12. Scott Gregory, 13. Michael Collins, 14. Patelesio Tomkinson, 15. Josh Ioane
Reserves: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Josh Hohneck, 19. Josh Dickson, 20. Hugh Renton, 21. James Arscott, 22. Sam Gilbert, 23. Teariki Ben-Nicholas
1. Andrew Tuala, 2. David Porecki, 3. Darcy Breen, 4. Jeremy Williams, 5. Jack Whetton, 6. Lachlan Swinton, 7. Carlo Tizzano, 8. Jack Dempsey, 9. Jake Gordon (c), 10. Will Harrison, 11. Mark Nawaqanitawase, 12. Lalakai Foketi, 13. Izaia Perese, 14. Alex Newsome, 15. Jack Maddocks
Reserves: 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Chris Talakai, 18. TBC, 19. Sam Caird, 20. Will Harris, 21. Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 22. Jack Grant, 23. Tane Edmed
Saturday, 7:45pm (AEST), GIO Stadium
(15-1): Tom Banks, Solomone Kata, Len Ikitau, Bayley Kuenzle, Mack Hansen, Noah Lolesio, Ryan Lonergan, Henry Stowers, Luke Reimer, Rob Valetini, Nick Frost, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Lachlan Lonergan, Scott Sio
Reserves: Folau Fainga’a, Harry Lloyd, Sefo Kautai, Tom Hooper, Tom Cusack, Nic White, Irae Simone, Tom Wright
1. Xavier Numia, 2. Dane Coles, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 4. James Blackwell, 5. Scott Scrafton, 6. Devan Flanders, 7. Du’Plessis Kirifi, 8. Ardie Savea (c), 9. Luke Campbell, 10. Ruben Love, 11. Salesi Rayasi, 12. Ngani Laumape, 13. Billy Proctor, 14. Julian Savea, 15. Jordie Barrett
Reserves: 16. Ricky Riccitelli, 17. Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18. Alex Fidow, 19. Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20. Brayden Lose, 21. Gareth Evans, 22. Cam Roigard, 23. Wes Goosen
Sunday, 3pm (AEST), Leichhardt Oval
1. Reuben O’Neill, 2. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 3. Angus Ta’avao, 4. Josh Lord, 5. Tupou Vaa’i, 6. Pita Gus Sowakula, 7. Lachlan Boshier, 8. Luke Jacobson (c), 9. Xavier Roe, 10. Bryn Gatland, 11. Bailyn Sullivan, 12. Quinn Tupaea, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 14. Shaun Stevenson, 15. Kaleb Trask
Reserves: 16. Bradley Slater, 17. Ollie Norris, 18. Sione Mafileo, 19. Mitchell Brown, 20. Zane Kapeli, 21. Brad Weber, 22. Alex Nankivell, 23. Chase Tiatia
1. Cameron Orr, 2. Jordan Uelese, 3. Cabous Eloff, 4. Rob Leota, 5. Trevor Hosea, 6. Michael Wells, 7. Richard Hardwick, 8. Isi Naisarani, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Carter Gordon, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Matt To’omua (c), 13. Stacey Ili, 14. Lachie Anderson, 15. George Worth
Reserves: 16. James Hanson, 17. Matt Gibbon, 18. Rhys van Nek, 19. Ross Haylett-Petty, 20. Michael Iecly, 21. James Tuttle, 22. Andrew Kellaway, 23. Frank Lomani