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The Roar


Super Rugby teams round 14: Tahs' crazy prop jinx continues, eight changes for Reds, Gordon ruled out

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22nd May, 2024
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It’s the second last week of the regular season with the top four all but settled and plenty to play for in the bottom half of the top eight. Aussie eyes will be on the Reds’ home match against the Force, with the Perth team pushing to make the playoffs.

See the team news as it unfolds below.

(All times are AEST)


Chiefs vs Hurricanes, 5.05pm

The Hurricanes will be without captain and loose forward Brad Shields in this second vs. fourth clash.

Shields strained a quad in training this week but is expected to be fit for the finals.

Jordie Barrett takes the captaincy in a much changed team from the win over Moana Pasifika.

Jordie Barrett of the Hurricanes is tackled.

Jordie Barrett of the Hurricanes is tackled. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

All Blacks prop Tyrel Lomax (ankle) and flanker DuPlessis Kirifi (knee) will also miss the Chiefs game with bone bruising.

The Hurricanes bring back fullback Ruben Love, winger Josh Moorby, centre Billy Proctor, Barrett, centre Brett Cameron, halfback TJ Perenara and No 8 Brayden Iose.

The Chiefs have made just three changes to their 23, retaining the same starting XV that edged the Rebels last week.

Hooker Tyrone Thompson, tighthead prop Sione Ahio and halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi have replaced Bradley Slater, Reuben O’Neill and Xavier Roe on the bench.

CHIEFS (1-15): Aidan Ross, Samisoni Taukei’aho, George Dyer, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Tupou Vaa’i, Simon Parker, Kaylum Boshier, Luke Jacobson (c), Cortez Ratima, Damian McKenzie, Etene Nanai Seturo, Quinn Tupaea, Anton Lienert Brown, Emoni Narawa, Shaun Stevenson

RESERVES: Tyrone Thompson, Jared Proffit, Sione Ahio, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Wallace Sititi, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Josh Ioane, Rameka Poihipi


HURRICANES (1-15): Xavier Numia, Raymond Tuputupu, Pasilio Tosi, Justin Sangster, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Devan Flanders, Peter Lakai, Brayden Iose, TJ Perenara, Brett Cameron, Kini Naholo, Jordie Barrett (c), Billy Proctor, Josh Moorby, Ruben Love

RESERVES: James O’Reilly, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Tevita Mafileo, Caleb Delany, TK Howden, Richard Judd, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Salesi Rayasi

Referee: Paul Williams

Assistant Referees: Dan Waenga, Mike Winter.

Brumbies vs Rebels, 7.35pm

With a top two spot on the line, Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham isn’t leaving anything to chance for Friday’s showdown with the Rebels in Canberra.

After scraping over the line against the Crusaders in controversial circumstances, the Brumbies find themselves four points behind the Hurricanes and a further three adrift of the ladder-leading Blues with two rounds to go.


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But with the easiest finish to the season, Larkham will be desperate to ensure they get at least two wins to keep themselves in the mix for a top finish and the strong likelihood of hosting a semi-final.

Larkham has tweaked his forward pack, recalling Billy Pollard from injury to take back the No.2 position. Liam Bowron, whose lineout throw came under pressure last week, is the replacement hooker.

The other change in the forward pack sees Tom Hooper come in for Cadeyrn Neville in the second-row, with Nick Frost kept at blindside flanker.

There’s just the one change in the backline, with speedster Corey Toole coming onto the left wing and recently re-signed utility back Ollie Sapsford dropping back to the bench.

Rebels coach Kevin Foote has had some good and bad news, welcoming back Wallabies Taniela Tupou and Andrew Kellaway but losing fly-half Carter Gordon.

As revealed on The Roar Rugby Pdcast, Gordon failed a post-match head injury assessment and will miss the trip to the nation’s capital.


In his place comes Jake Strachan, with Kellaway returning to the fullback position. While Darby Lancaster has been named on the right wing after missing last week due to sickness.

Up front and Rob Leota comes in for Josh Kemeny, who left the field early for the Rebels last week.
Isaac Kailea also comes in at loose-head prop, with Matt Gibbon dropping back to the bench. He is joined by Tupou, who replaces Pone Fa’amausili.

BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Billy Pollard, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Darcy Swain, Tom Hooper, Nick Frost, Jahrome Brown, Rob Valetini, Ryan Lonergan, Noah Lolesio, Corey Toole, Tamati Tua, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead, Tom Wright

RESERVES: Liam Bowron, Rhys van Nek, Sosefo Kautai, Cadeyrn Neville, Luke Reimer, Harrison Goddard, Jack Debreczeni, Ollie Sapsford

REBELS (1-15): Isaac Kailea, Jordan Uelese, Sam Talakai, Angelo Smith, Josh Canham, Rob Leota (c), Brad Wilkin, Vaiolini Ekuasi, Ryan Louwrens, Jake Strachan, Glen Vaihu, Nick Jooste, Filipo Daugunu, Darby Lancaster, Andrew Kellaway

RESERVES: Ethan Dobbins, Matt Gibbon, Taniela Tupou, Luke Callan, Maciu Nabolakasi, Tuaina Taii Tualima, James Tuttle, Mason Gordon


Referee: Angus Gardner

Assistant Referees: Matt Kellahan, Jordan Kaminski.


Moana Pasifika vs Waratahs 2.35pm

Not for the first time this season, Darren Coleman has had to turn to club land to help fill a gap in the side’s front-row for Saturday’s clash against Moana Pasifika in Auckland.

A week after calling in on-loan Glasgow prop Enrique Pieretto, the Argentine international has been ruled out with a neck injury.

Enrique Pieretto arrived in Sydney on Saturday and is set to take on the Western Force in Perth seven days later. Photo: NSW Media


The latest injury setback has seen Coleman start Brothers loosehead prop Harry Lloyd and Brad Amituanani in the front-row alongside hooker Jay Fonokalafi.

On the bench, hooker Ben Sugars and Lewis Ponini have been joined by Northern Suburbs prop Mike Scott.

Hugh Sinclair starts in the second-row alongside Jed Holloway, while Wallabies forward Ned Hanigan comes in for Lachie Swinton (neck) at blindside flanker.

Elsewhere, Coleman has turned to Tane Edmed at fly-half with Will Harrison left out. The shuffle at fly-half sees Jack Bowen come onto the bench. Izaia Perese starts on the right-wing in back-three combination alongside fellow winger Dylan Pietsch and Mark Nawaqanitawase.

Moana Pasifika have named a mostly unchanged side.

The only change in the starting lineup sees Aisea Halo promoted from the bench to start at halfback.

Tomasi Maka, Siaosi Nginingini and Henry Taefu have also been named to bring impact off the bench.


PASIFIKA (1-15): Abraham Pole, Samiuela Moli, Sione Mafileo, Tom Savage, Allan Craig, Jacob Norris, Sione Havili Talitui (c), Lotu Inisi, Aisea Halo, William Havili, Neria Fomai, Julian Savea, Pepesana Patafilo, Fine Inisi, Danny Toala

RESERVES: Tomasi Maka, Tevita Langi, Sekope Kepu, Ola Tauelangi, Alamanda Motuga, Siaosi Nginingini, Christian Lealiifano, Henry Taefu

WARATAHS (1-15): Harry Lloyd, Jay Fonokalafi, Brad Amituanai, Jed Holloway, Hugh Sinclair, Ned Hanigan, Charlie Gamble, Langi Gleeson, Jake Gordon (c), Tane Edmed, Dylan Pietsch, Lalakai Foketi, Joey Walton, Izaia Perese, Mark Nawaqanitawase

RESERVES: Ben Sugars, Lewis Ponini, Michael Scott, Miles Amatosero, Fergus Lee-Warner, Jack Grant, Jack Bowen, Vuate Karawalevu

Referee: Nic Berry

Assistant Referees: Reuben Keane, George Myers.

Crusaders vs Blues 5.05pm


Blues stars Rieko Ioane and Stephen Perofeta return to the starting lineup.

Ioane reclaims his spot at centre having returned from concussion, while Perofeta slots into fullback after injury. Captain Patrick Tuipulotu is also back for the match, locking alongside Sam Darry.

Blues head coach, Vern Cotter has reworked his loose forward trio this week, opting for a starting combination of Akira Ioane, Adrian Choat and Hoskins Sotutu with Cameron Suafoa coming off the bench.

In the backs, Taufa Funaki returns to the starting halfback spot, reinstating his combination with Harry Plummer. Corey Evans starts again at second five-eight while AJ Lam and Mark Tele’a hold down the wing spots.

Ethan Blackadder is back in the Crusaders for the first time since late April, and will start at No.7.

Fergus Burke retaiins the No.10 jersey after making his season debut in the loss to the Brumbies last week.


CRUSADERS (1-15): Joe Moody, Codie Taylor (c), Fletcher Newell, Antonio Shalfoon, Quinten Strange, Cullen Grace, Ethan Blackadder, Christian Lio-Willie, Noah Hotham, Fergus Burke, Sevu Reece, David Havili, Levi Aumua, Chay Fihaki, Johnny McNicholl

RESERVES: George Bell, George Bower, Tamaiti Williams, Jamie Hannah, Tom Christie, Mitch Drummond, Taha Kemara, Dallas McLeod

BLUES (1-15): Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Kurt Eklund, Angus Ta’avao, Patrick Tuipulotu (c), Sam Darry, Akira Ioane, Adrian Choat, Hoskins Sotutu, Taufa Funaki, Harry Plummer, AJ Lam, Corey Evans, Rieko Ioane, Mark Tele’a, Stephen Perofeta

RESERVES: Ricky Riccitelli, Joshua Fusitu’a, PJ Sheck, Josh Beehre, Cameron Suafoa, Sam Nock, Cole Forber, Caleb Tangitau

Referee: James Doleman

Assistant Referees: Jono Bredin, Fraser Hannon.

Reds vs Force 7.35pm


Reds coach Les Kiss has welcomed back several big-name players for Saturday’s clash against the Western Force in Brisbane.

In total there are eight changes to the side that lost 28-19 to the Drua in Fiji, with four of those in the tight-five.

It’s a brand new front-row, with Alex Hodgman recovering from injury to pack down alongside Matt Faessler (rest) and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen up front.

“Alex performed well in 80 minutes for his club last weekend and Matt Faessler is back after a freshening up week,” Kiss said.

After making his way back from a hand injury via the bench last week, Seru Uru returns to partner Ryan Smith in the second-row.

There are several changes to the backline too, with Tom Lynagh returning at fly-half while Mac Grealy (rest) comes back into the side to partner Tim Ryan on the wings, with Jock Campbell at fullback.

The other change is in the midfield, with Josh Flook a welcomed addition to partner Hunter Paisami.


“It’s Tom’s chance to lead from No.10. We’ve seen his strong form earlier in the season,” Kiss added.

“James O’Connor will continue his good, solid progression. That experience is valuable at this time of the season.”

After stumbling against the Force earlier in the year, Kiss said his side were under no illusions that the contest would be an easy one.

“We recognise we need to be at our best against the Force. They have found their groove over the past five weeks,” he said.

“They have been playing some impressive rugby.

“We are looking forward to playing strongly at Suncorp Stadium in our last home game before the finals.”

The Force, meanwhile, have made just the one change to their side with Ronan Leahy to debut.


The Junior Wallabies winger has been picked ahead of Chase Tiatia, who will come off the bench.

The Force are hoping Kurtley Beale will be eligible to boost their finals hopes, with the experienced Wallaby welcoming his second child on Wednesday.

REDS (1-15): Alex Hodgman, Matt Faessler, Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, Seru Uru, Ryan Smith, Liam Wright (co-c), Fraser McReight, John Bryant, Tate McDermott (co-c), Tom Lynagh, Mac Grealy, Hunter Paisami, Josh Flook, Tim Ryan, Jock Campbell

RESERVES: Josh Nasser, Sef Fa’agase, Zane Nonggor, Connor Vest, Joe Brial, Kalani Thomas, James O’Connor, Taj Annan

FORCE (1-15): Harry Hoopert, Tom Horton, Santiago Medrano, Jeremy Williams (c), Izack Rodda, Will Harris, Carlo Tizzano, Reed Prinsep, Nic White, Ben Donaldson, Ronan Leahy, Hamish Stewart, Bayley Kuenzle, George Poolman, Kurtley Beale

RESERVES: Feleti Kaitu’u, Marley Pearce, Tiaan Tauakipulu, Lopeti Faifua, Michael Wells, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Sam Spink, Chase Tiatia

Referee: Damon Murphy


Assistant Referees: Jorday Way, Jeremy Markey.


Highlanders vs Fijian Drua, 12.05pm

The Highlanders have lost form centre Tanielu Tele’a after he suffered a suspected MCL injury last week against the Blues.

Jake Te Hiwi moves to outside centre with Sam Gilbert named to start at No 12.

Cameron Millar misses out after being hit high by Blues prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi at Eden Park and Ajay Faleafaga will start at No. 10.

Jona Nareki has recovered from a hamstring injury, and will start on the wing while captain Billy Harmon returns from the finger injury that sidelined him for a couple of weeks, and will start at No. 8.


For the Drua, Flying Fijians flyhalf Caleb Muntz has been named on the bench, and is poised to return to the field after a long-term injury.

HIGHLANDERS (1-15): Ethan de Groot (co-c), Henry Bell, Jermaine Ainsley, Mitch Dunshea, Fabian Holland, Oliver Haig, Sean Withy, Billy Harmon (co-c), Folau Fakatava, Ajay Falegaga, Jona Nareki, Sam Gilbert, Jake Te Hiwi, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens

RESERVES: Jack Taylor, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Saula Ma’u, Max Hicks, Nikora Broughton, James Arscott, Matt Whaanga, Connor Garden-Bachop

DRUA (1-15): Jone Koroiduadua, Tevita Ikanivere (c), Mesake Doge, Mesake Vocevoce, Isoa Nasilasila, Etonia Waqa, Kitione Salawa, Elia Canakaivata, Simione Kuruvoli, Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula, Epeli Momo, Kemu Valetini, Iosefo Masi, Selestino Ravutaumada, Ilaisa Droasese

RESERVES: Zuriel Togiatama, Emosi Tuqiri, Samu Tawake, Leone Rotuisolia, Vilive Miramira, Peni Matawalu, Caleb Muntz, Taniela Rakuro

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe


Assistant Referees: Stu Curran, Jackson Henshaw.