Super Rugby goes international again this weekend as the ten sides from New Zealand and Australia collide for the Trans Tasman competition.
With the Crusaders winning the Aotearoa tournament and the Queensland Reds coming good in the AU event, it’s an opportunity to reset for the chasing pack Down Under.
Super Rugby Aotearoa & AU 2021: Predictions for 14-15 May
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team?s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing. Score margins use the methodology developed by Rugby Vision or StatsChat.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman: Highlanders vs Queensland Reds
The Highlanders and Queensland Reds bring the curtain up on the Super Rugby Trans Tasman competition when they meet on Friday at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Shannon Frizell is missing for the Kiwi side pending a police investigation into the All Black’s alleged night time activities, with hooker Ash Dixon and scrum-half Aaron Smith acting as co-captains.
The Reds, crowned champions of the Aussie competition last weekend, are set to be without hotshot Jordan Petaia in the backline, with Harry Wilson and Alex Mafi also ruled out.
Highlanders Starting XV: 15 Sam Gilbert, 14 Patelesio Tomkinson, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (co-captain), 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Hugh Renton, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Ayden Johnstone.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Ethan De Groot, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Bryn Evans, 20 James Lentjes, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Tim O?Malley, 23 Ngatugnane Punivai.
Queensland Reds Starting XV: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Jock Campbell, 10 James O?Connor 9 Kalani Thomas, 8 Seru Uru, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Angus Blyth, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Feao Fotuaika, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Dane Zander.
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Isaac Henry, 23 Suliasi Vunivalu.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman: NSW Waratahs vs Hurricanes
The Hurricanes cross the water on the opening night of Super Rugby Trans Tasman, as they head to Sydney to take on the New South Wales Waratahs.
Stade Francais-bound Ngani Laumape won’t feature for the visitors, who bring in Peter Umaga-Jensen to a side that also includes Alex Fidow and Isaia Walker-Leawere.
Will Harrison and fly-half Ben Donaldson have both been brought into the Waratahs starting line up at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
NSW Waratahs Starting XV: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 10 Ben Donaldson, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Charlie Gamble, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Max Douglas, 4 Hugh Sinclair, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements: 16 Joe Cotton, 17 Te Tera Faulkner, 18 Darcy Breen, 19 Jeremy Williams, 20 Carlo Tizzano, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Will Harrison, 23 Tepai Moeroa.
Hurricanes Starting XV: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Ruben Love, 9 Luke Campbell, 8 Devan Flanders, 7 Du?Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Alex Fidow, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Xavier Numia.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Liam Mitchell, 20 Brayden Lose, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Orbyn Leger, 23 Pepesana Patafilo.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman: Crusaders vs Brumbies
The first round of Super Rugby Trans Tasman action continues on Saturday, as Aotearoa champions the Crusaders go up against the Brumbies.
Codie Taylor brings up 100 caps for the home side, who rest Mitch Drummond and Will Jordan for the opening round of action.
The visitors have a couple of landmarks of their own to celebrate, as Folau Fainga?a and Irae Simone both reach a half century of appearances.
Crusaders Starting XV: 15 George Bridge, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga?anuku, 10 Richie Mo?unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Sanders, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 George Bower.
Replacements: 16 Brodie McAlister, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Brendon O?Connor, 21 Ereatara Enari, 22 Fergus Burke, 23 Sevu Reece.
Brumbies Starting XV: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Solomone Kata, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Ryan Lonergan, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Rory Scott, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Nick Frost, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Folau Fainga?a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Harry Lloyd, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Tom Hooper, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 22 Reesjan Pasitoa, 23 Mack Hansen.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman: Rebels vs Blues
The Melbourne Rebels meet the Blues at AAMI Park in the opening round of Super Rugby Trans Tasman on Saturday.
Rookies Zarn Sullivan and AJ Lam give a fresh look to the Blues’ backline, with Caleb Clarke having returned to the All Black Sevens set up following the Aotearoa campaign.
Lachie Anderson’s return as far as the bench is a boost for the Melbourne side, who will be captained from fly-half by Matt To’omua.
Rebels Starting XV: 15 Tom Pincus, 14 Frank Lomani, 13 Stacey Ili 12 Campbell Magnay, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To?omua (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Ross Haylett-Petty, 4 Rob Leota, 3 Cabous Eloff, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Lucio Sordoni, 19 Steve Cummins, 20 Michael Icely, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Carter Gordon, 23 Lachie Anderson.
Blues Starting XV: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 AJ Lam, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Adrian Choat, 6 Tom Robinson (captain), 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Marcel Renata, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu?inukuafe.
Replacements: 16 Soane Vikena, 17 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jacob Pierce, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Mark Telea.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman: Western Force vs Chiefs
We’re way out west for the final game of the first round of Super Rugby Trans Tasman fixtures on Saturday, as the Chiefs make the trek to play the Western Force.
Damian McKenzie will act as creator-in-chief in the number ten jersey for the Kiwis, who opt for Chase Tiatia at full-back.
The Force, who surprised everyone with their Super Rugby AU form, have the wise old head of Rob Kearney at full-back.
Western Force Starting XV: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Richard Kahui, 13 Kyle Godwin (captain), 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Tom?s Cubelli, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Tim Anstee, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu?u, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Jake Strachan.
Chiefs Starting XV: 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Jonah Lowe, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Pita Gus Sowakula, 5 Tupou Vaa?i, 4 Josh Lord, 3 Angus Ta?avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei?aho, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Joe Apikotoa, 19 Zane Kapeli, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Xavier Roe, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Bailyn Sullivan.