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Super Rugby teams: Reds trio ruled out after brutal clash, Barrett ban revealed, Wallabies back for Tahs

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6th March, 2024
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Queensland Reds star Jordan Petaia has been ruled out of the key clash with the Chiefs this wekend as Jordie Barrett received his punishment for the brutal hit that left the Wallabies back reeling.

Barrett has been banned for three games over the 56th minute incident in the Canes’golden point win in Melbourne.

The Reds were hard hit with Alex Hodgman (shoulder) and Hunter Paisami (HIA) also forced out of action.

Follow all the teams and news as it happens below

(All times are AEDT)

Friday

Moana Pasifika vs Rebels, 5.05pm

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The Rebels have been forced into multiple changes for their Friday night clash against Moana Pasifika, with injury striking the embattled Super Rugby franchise.


In total there are five changes to the starting side, with Jordan Uelese brought back in at hooker for Alex Mafi.

Sam Talakai has also been promoted to the starting side, with Taniela Tupou to be injected into the fold to add some explosiveness and scrummaging prowess to a weakened bench.

The other chance in the pack sees Vaioline Ekuasi stat at openside flanker, with Brad Wilkin ruled out.
In the halves, Ryan Louwrens comes in to partner Carter Gordon.

After Matt Proctor’s injury, Filipo Daugunu has been shifted to the midfield while Jake Strachan comes in at fullback and Andrew Kellaway shifted to the wing.

Moana Pasifika coach Tana Umaga has freshened up his 23.

In the backline Pepesana Patafilo rejoins the team at right wing, while Anzelo Tuitavuki gets a start on the left wing. 

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Sione Havili Talitui will captain Moana Pasifika for a second week at openside flanker and Samiuela Moli earns a starting spot at hooker. 

On the bench Manu Samoa halfback Melani Matavao and promising young hooker Tomasi Maka, both have a chance to make their Super Rugby and Moana Pasifika debut.

PASIFIKA (1-15): Abraham Pole, Sama Malolo, Sione Mafileo, Tom Savage, Allan Craig, Jacob Norris, Sione Havili Talitui (c), Lotu Inisi, Ereatara Enari, William Havili, Anzelo Tuitavuki, Julian Savea, Henry Taefu, Pepesana Patafilo, Danny Toala

RESERVES: Tomasi Maki, Sateki Latu, Sekope Kepu, Ola Tauelangi, Irie Papuni, Melani Matavao, Christian Lealiifano, Kyren Taumoefolau

REBELS (1-15): Matt Gibbon, Jordan Uelese, Sam Talakai, Josh Canham, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Josh Kemeny, Vaiolini Ekuasi, Rob Leota (c), Ryan Louwrens, Carter Gordon, Andrew Kellaway, David Feliuai, Filipo Daugunu, Lachie Anderson, Jake Strachan

RESERVES: Ethan Dobbins, Isaac Kailea, Taniela Tupou, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Daniel Maiava, James Tuttle, Glen Vaihu, Lukas Ripley

Referee: Brendon Pickerill

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Assistant Referees: Angus Mabey, Marcus Playle.

Waratahs vs Highlanders, 7.35pm

The Waratahs have welcomed back two Wallabies to their starting side for Friday’s clash against the Highlanders.

After making a strong impression off the bench in the Waratahs’ upset win over the Crusaders, Ned Hanigan has been promoted to the starting side.

; Ned Hanigan during Australia rugby squad training at the UCD Bowl in Belfield, Dublin. (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ned Hanigan. (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The rangy forward returns at blindside flanker, with Fergus Lee-Warner dropping back to the bench.

The other two changes are in the backline, with Wallaby Izaia Perese returning at outside centre to partner Joey Walton. That sees Harry Wilson drop back to the bench after scoring a try and showing his worth in a rare start.

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The other change sees Triston Reilly start on the winger, with Dylan Pietsch out with an eye-injury.
Former Brumby Tom Ross comes onto the bench at tight-head prop, while Mosese Tuipulotu will wear the No.23 jersey.

The Highlanders have demoted captain Billy Harmon and flanker Sean Withy to the bench for the clash against the Waratahs after they were late for a team meeting, reported Stuff.

Coach Clarke Dermody said the incident was minor in isolation, and a “genuine accident”, but emphasised that the Highlanders wanted to draw a line in the sand on team standards.

“A couple of players this week were late for a team meeting,” Dermody said from Sydney on Wednesday.

“Part of our standards this year is no matter who it is, it’s unacceptable and you lose your place in the team.”

With Harmon benched, All Blacks prop Ethan de Groot will captain the side.

Nikora Broughton starts in the No.7 jersey, while Tom Sanders will make his debut in the No.6 jersey.

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WARATAHS (1-15): Angus Bell, Mahe Vailanu, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Jed Holloway, Hugh Sinclair, Ned Hanigan, Charlie Gamble, Langi Gleeson, Jake Gordon (c), Tane Edmed, Triston Reilly, Joey Walton, Izaia Perese, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Max Jorgensen

RESERVES: Julian Heaven, Hayden Thompson-Stringer, Tom Ross, Miles Amatosero, Fergus Lee-Warner, Teddy Wilson, Harry Wilson, Mosese Tuipulotu

HIGHLANDERS (1-15): Ethan de Groot (c), Henry Bell, Jermaine Ainsley, Fabian Holland, Max Hicks, Tom Sanders, Nikora Broughton, Hugh Renton, Folau Fakatava, Rhys Patchell, Jona Nareki, Sam Gilbert, Tanielu Tele’a, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens

RESERVES: Ricky Jackson, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Saula Ma’u, Sean Withy, Billy Harmon, James Arscott, Ajay Faleafaga, Jonah Lowe

Referee: Damon Murphy

Assistant Referees: Matt Kellahan, James Palmer.

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Saturday

Fijian Drua vs Crusaders, 12.05pm

The return of versatile Ilaisa Droasese to the starting 15 headlines the Drua 23. Also making their first starts of the season are Haereiti Hetet, Jone Koroiduadua and Vilive Miramira.

Facing the prospect of a first 0-3 start since 1996, Crusaders coach Rob Penney has named two uncapped players on his bench.

Riley Hohepa will provide cover for Taha Kemara, after joining the Crusaders as injury cover for Rivez Reihana, while midfielder Jone Rova is also in line to make his debut.

Rob Penney. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

DRUA (1-15): Haereiti Hetet, Tevita Ikanivere, Jone Koroiduadua, Mesake Vocevoce, Ratu Leone Rotuisolia, Etonia Waqa, Vilive Miramira, Meli Derenalagi (c), Frank Lomani, Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula, Epeli Momo, Apisalome Vota, Iosefo Masi, Selestino Ravutaumada, Ilaisa Droasese

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RESERVES: Mesulame Dolokoto,  Livai Natave, Mesake Doge, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Elia Canakaivata, Simione Kuruvoli, Kemu Valetini, Junior Ratuva

CRUSADERS (1-15): George Bower, George Bell, Fletcher Newell, Scott Barrett (c), Quinten Strange, Dominic Gardiner, Tom Christie, Cullen Grace, Willi Heinz, Taha Kemara, Manasa Mataele, David Havili, Levi Aumua, Sevu Reece, Chay Fihaki

RESERVES: Ioane Moananu, Kershawl Sykes-Martin, Seb Calder, Jamie Hannah, Tahlor Cahill, Mitchell Drummond, Jone Rova, Riley Hohepa

Referee: Nic Berry

Assistant Referees: George Myers, Jeremy Markey

Brumbies vs Force, 2.35pm

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Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has welcomed back Darcy Swain to inject some physicality to the side after the Australian Super Rugby heavyweights were pumped by the Chiefs.

Swain, who was a Wallabies regular under Dave Rennie, returns to the second-row to partner Nick Frost.
That sees Tom Hooper shifted to blindside flanker, with Rob Valetini returning to the No.8 position. Charlie Cale has been left out.

The other change is in the backline, with Tamati Tua returning at inside centre.

His return will provide the Brumbies some more directness in attack, with the Brumbies guilty of going wide before getting any gain-line advantage last week.

Cadeyrn Neville, who copped a nasty shot to the jaw last week, has been named on the bench.

The Force have made just one change to their 23 from the high-scoring loss to the Rebels last week.

Bayley Kuenzle comes into the side, replacing English outside-centre Sam Spink who will miss a couple of weeks with a calf strain sustained last Friday.

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BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Lachlan Lonergan, Sosefo Kautai, Nick Frost, Darcy Swain, Tom Hooper, Luke Reimer, Rob Valetini, Ryan Lonergan (c), Noah Lolesio, Corey Toole, Tamati Tua, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead, Tom Wright

RESERVES: Billy Pollard, Blake Schoupp, Rhys Van Nek, Cadeyrn Neville, Jahrome Brown, Klayton Thorn, Declan Meredith, Ollie Sapsford

FORCE (1-15): Ryan Coxon, Tom Horton, Santiago Medrano, Tom Franklin, Jeremy Williams (c), Michael Wells, Carlo Tizzano, Will Harris, Nic White, Ben Donaldson, Chase Tiatia, Hamish Stewart, Bayley Kuenzle, Harry Potter, Max Burey

RESERVES: Feleti Kaitu’u, Charlie Hancock, Tiaan Tauakipulu, Tim Anstee, Lopeti Faifua, Ollie Callan, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, George Poolman

Referee: Dan Waenga

Assistant Referees: Graham Cooper, Jordan Kaminski

Hurricanes vs Blues, 5.05pm

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Anton Segner returns to the Blues starting side at blindside flanker, partnering captain Dalton Papali’i and Akira Ioane who shifts to No.8

Laghlan McWhannell and Cameron Suafoa are the locks after Sam Darry was ruled out for six to eight weeks with an MCL knee injury.

Finlay Christie and Rieko Ioane return to the backline after their All Blacks load management.

Rieko Ioane of the Blues looks on

Rieko Ioane of the Blues. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

HURRICANES (1-15): Tevita Mafileo, Asafo Aumua (co-c), Tyrel Lomax, James Tucker, Isaia Walker-Leawere, TK Howden, Peter Lakai, Brayden Iose, Cam Roigard, Brett Cameron, Kini Naholo, Riley Higgins, Billy Proctor (co-c), Josh Moorby, Ruben Love

RESERVES: James O’Reilly, Xavier Numia, Pasilio Tosi, Caleb Delany, Devan Flanders, TJ Perenara, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Salesi Rayasi

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BLUES (1-15): Joshua Fusitu’a, Kurt Eklund, Marcel Renata, Laghlan McWhannell, Cameron Suafoa, Anton Segner, Dalton Papali’i (c), Akira Ioane, Finlay Christie, Stephen Perofeta, AJ Lam, Harry Plummer, Rieko Ioane, Mark Tele’a, Zarn Sullivan

RESERVES: Ricky Riccitelli, Jordan Lay, Angus Ta’avao, Josh Beehre, Hoskins Sotutu, Adrian Choat, Taufa Funaki, Cole Forbes

Referee: Jordan Way

Assistant Referees: Nick Hogan, Natarsha Ganley.

Reds vs Chiefs, 7.35pm

Reds coach Les Kiss has been forced into making several changes for Saturday’s tricky clash against the flying Chiefs, with concussions ruling out Wallabies backs Hunter Paisami and Jordan Petaia.

Both backs copped head knocks in the second-half, which saw them taken from the field.

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As such, Issac Henry has come in for Hunter Paisami while Jock Campbell shifts from the wing to fullback to cover Petaia, which allows Mac Grealy to return to the starting side.

The other key change is up front, with Alex Hodgman ruled out with a shoulder injury.

Hodgman, who is eligible for the Wallabies despite playing for the All Blacks in 2020, left the field in the first half during the Reds’ heartbreaking golden point loss to the Hurricanes.

His withdrawal has seen Sef Fa’agase promoted to the starting side at loose-head prop, with former All Blacks front-rower Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen set to make his debut for the franchise off the bench.

“Right from the first trial against the Western Force, Isaac has looked strong, fit and fast and the transition has been seamless when he’s been called into games as a replacement,” Kiss said.

“He’s a direct player for us with a good skill set while moving to fullback is a natural switch for Jock.

“Jeffery has game time under his belt with two games for the Reds Development XV over the past two weekends.

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“To have his experience to call on his invaluable and it’s great to have the luxury of a prop who is highly equipped to switch from tighthead to loosehead as Sef is as a starter.”

Loose forward Wallace Sititi and flyhalf Josh Jacomb are in line for SRP debuts for the Chiefs.

Joining the debutants is an experienced side with the front row rotated to include All Blacks, Aidan Ross and Samisoni Taukei’aho, alongside George Dyer.

Simon Parker also moves into the starting lineup as openside flanker, as does Cortez Ratima at halfback and Daniel Rona in the midfield. Shaun Stevenson shifts to the wing and Josh Ioane starts at fullback for a new-look backline.

“The Reds are a formidable opponent and have been impressive through the early rounds. They play an abrasive style and have the athletes to challenge through the middle of the park and through their tactical kicking game. We are under no illusion how tough this game will be and are preparing for a real dogfight,” said coach Clayton McMillan.

REDS (1-15): Sef Fa’agase, Matt Faessler, Zane Nonggorr, Seru Uru, Ryan Smith, Liam Wright (co-c), Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott (co-c), Tom Lyngah, Mac Grealy, Isaac Henry, Josh Flook, Suli Vunivalu, Jock Campbell

RESERVES: Josh Nasser, Peni Ravai, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Cormac Daly, John Bryant, Kalani Thomas, Harry McLaughlin-Phillips, Tim Ryan 

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CHIEFS (1-15): Aidan Ross, Samisoni Taukei’aho, George Dyer, Tupou Vaa’i, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Samipeni Finau, Simon Parker, Luke Jacobson (c), Cortez Ratima, Damian McKenzie, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Rameka Poihipi, Daniel Rona, Shaun Stevenson, Josh Ioane

RESERVES: Tyrone Thompson, Ollie Norris, Reuben O’Neill, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Wallace Sititi, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Josh Jacomb, Anton Lienert-Brown

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe

Assistant Referees: Stu Curran, Jackson Henshaw.

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