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Super RugbyIt is Round 10 of Super Rugby 2015 this weekend.

There is only 1 game on Friday 17 April but we have 6 games on Saturday 18 April.

The Emirates Lions have a BYE weekend.

There is only 1 South African derby on the weekend, between the Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls, but the DHL Stormers play their last match on tour against the Western Force and the returning Toyota Cheetahs also takes on the battling Reds team in Bloemfontein.

Only 1 undefeated team still remains prior to the start of the weekend, the Hurricanes, and they are up against lasst year’s champions Waratahs side in Wellington.

On Friday, the lone game is the exciting derby between the Crusaders and Chiefs in Christchurch, at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT).

On Saturday morning the Hurricanes host the Waratahs at 06:30 SA Time (16:30 NZ Time, 18:30 AEST, 04:30 GMT), whereafter the Highlanders host the Blues in Dunedin at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT). At 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 09:40 GMT) the Brumbies play the Melbourne Rebels in Sydney.

Slightly later and a couple of hours in time zones to the West – in Perth at 13:45 SA Time (19:45 AWST, 21:45 AEST, 11:45 GMT), the Western Force host the DHL Stormers.

Over to South Africa and next up, at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT), the Cell C Sharks host the Vodacom Bulls in Durban, before the last game of the Round where the Toyota Cheetahs host the Reds in Bloemfontein at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT, Sunday 03:10 AEST).

The game between the Crusaders and Chiefs should be a thriller on Friday, and calling a winner is difficult to do.

On Saturday one would suspect that the high-flying Hurricanes will beat last year’s struggling champions, the Waratahs in Wellington.

The Highlander sshould trounce the Blues and the Brumbies should easily dispatch the Melbourne Rebels.

In Perth the DHL Stormers will look for another win and to end their tour on the perfect note against the Western Force… and looking at recent results they should beat a struggling Force team.

The Cell C Sharks against the Vodacom Bulls is probably shaping up to be the game of the weekend and once again the question is asked who will be victorious… the sometimes unspectacular Bulls or the back-paddling “Gold-fish” (Cell C Sharks)… this one too tough to call.

In Bloemfontein all logic would suggest that the Toyota Cheetahs should beat the Rubble Reds.. and convincingly so, as the Reds have truly been diabollically bad in 2015!

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Super RugbyThe 2015 season is shaping up as the most-closely contested South African Conference title race since the expansion of Vodacom Super Rugby in 2011.

The leadership of the SA Conference is up for grabs once more this weekend after 4 teams have already topped the local log so far this season, with anyone of the Vodacom Bulls, DHL Stormers and Cell C Sharks that could be on top on Saturday night.

A mere 4 Log Points separate the Top 4 South African teams, with the Vodacom Bulls on 24 (after 8 matches), DHL Stormers on 22 (after 8 matches), Emirates Lions on 21 (after 9 matches) and Cell C Sharks on 20 (after 9 matches).

And even the 5th-placed Toyota Cheetahs are not out of the running as they trail the Cell C Sharks by only 7 points with a game in hand and a host of  local derbies to come.

Last year at a similar stage, the difference was a massive 21 points, but only the Cell C Sharks ended up making the playoffs.

In 2013, the difference between teams 1 and 4 in South Africa was 8 points at roughly the halfway stage of the competition, with the Vodacom Bulls and Toyota Cheetahs eventually proceeding to the playoffs and the DHL Stormers and Cell C Sharks just missing out in positions 7 and 8.

In 2012, a total of 12 points separated the teams from 1st to 4th at a similar stage and in the end the DHL Stormers, Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks made the playoffs – South Africa’s most successful season yet in terms of representation in the Top 6.

Halfway through the season in the 1st year of Vodacom Super Rugby in 2011, the difference between the 1st and 4th South African teams was 20 points and in the end, only the DHL Stormers and Cell C Sharks progressed to the knock-out stages.

The Emirates Lions have a BYE.

Note: Teams still got 4 Log Points for every BYE between 2011 and 2013, but for this comparison we subtracted those “free points”.

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Super RugbyIn sport, teams will have strengths and weaknesses and this often dictates where their scoring threat comes from and Super Rugby is no different. This week we take a more in depth look at where tries originate from, and which teams are more likely to score from certain scenarios.

 

The Set Piece:

Scrums and lineouts are often the best facets of the game to put training pitch moves into action. The Brumbies boast the best lineout success rate in Super Rugby this season (91%) and it is no surprise that they have scored the most tries this season when possession has begun with a throw-in.

However, what is surprising is just how many of their tries come from the lineout. Of the 22 tries the Brumbies have scored this season, 18 have started with the Canberra-based side winning their own lineout – a staggering 82% of their total. No other side has reached double figures for the same aspect of the game, however the Cheetahs are the next-best team when it comes to making the most off ball secured from their lineout.

The Bloemfontein side has scored 9 tries after beginning possession with a lineout, making up 53% of their overall tries, whilst the Rebels (46%) and the Lions (45%) aren’t far behind when their tallies are broken down into percentages.

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Bernard Foley

Bernard Foley

Waratahs Super Rugby-winning flyhalf Bernard Foley has signed a 3-year contract extension with the Australian Rugby Union.

The new agreement locks away the 25-year-old incumbent Wallaby flyhalf until at least the end of 2018 and ensures he will be eligible for Wallabies and Waratahs selection in each year of the deal. As part of the flexible contract, Foley will also be entitled to spend 2 seasons playing rugby in the Japanese domestic competition.

Foley said he was thrilled to have finalised a long-term agreement with Australian Rugby.

“I have an incredibly strong desire to continue representing Australia and the Waratahs, and this deal allows me to do that for at least another 3 years,” Foley said.

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Rugby-TalkIt’s PUB NIGHT again…

The heading suggests we talk about the South African Super Rugby sides… err I mean about the successful ones on the weekend, after a weekend where 4 South African sides recorded wins in Super Rugby and I think that qualifies as a good weekend of rugby!

Fortunately the DHL Stormers and Toyota Cheetahs also won in Australia, the Lions beat the Sharks and the Bulls monstered the Rubble Reds. Good on Ya all!

This next weekend, Super Rugby will continue, 1 game on Friday and 6 games on Saturday.

I guess this makes for a few good discussions!

It is time to straddle a bar stool and order a drink or 2.

Let’s focus on the PUB tonight…. the idea with PUB NIGHT is to lighten up our dull Tuesday evenings with music, comedy and fun.

Rugby takes a backseat tonight as the clan and fellow rugby nutters gather and wheel in their old friends…

Read the rules below carefully, or you WILL get burnt!

Just for clarity sake, when someone does not adhere to the Rules of the PUB, EVERYBODY jumps on them and pummels them, right… understood?

 

Here’s how it works:

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 10 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

There will be 7 games on the weekend and the Emirates Lions is the only side to sit out on a BYE weekend.

There will be only 1 game on Friday 17 April but a full 6 games on Saturday 18 April.

The weekend action is kicked off by Nick Briant is the Friday game between the Crusaders and Chiefs in Christchurch at 09:35 SA Time.

On Saturday at 06:30 SA Time Glen Jackson will be in charge of the game in Wellington between the unbeaten Hurricanes and the Waratahs, followed at 09:35 SA Time by Chris Pollock who will officiate the game between the Highlanders and Blues in Dunedin.

From there we move over to Australia where Andrew Gardiner is in charge of the whistle between the Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels in Canberra at 11:40 SA Time, followed by the game between the Western Force and DHL stormers in perth at 13:45 SA Time, where Mike Fraser will preside.

2 Games are played in South Africa on Saturday, the 1st of which will be the derby between the Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls at 17:05 SA Time in Durban, where Jaco Peyper will be in charge. In the last match of the Round, at 19:10 SA Time, the Toyota Cheetahs host the Reds and the match will be handled by Jaco van Heerden in Bloemfontein.

Hopefully dicipline amongst players and match officials improves this weekend and we do not have to witness a dearth of Cards, citings and suspensions!

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Taqele Naiyaravoro

Taqele Naiyaravoro

The Waratahs are likely to be without in-form winger Taqele Naiyaravoro for their Super Rugby crunch match against the Hurricanes in New Zealand, due to a visa issue.

Fijian Naiyaravoro was also omitted from the team for the match against the Otago Highlanders in Dunedin last month and is unable to leave Australia for the time being.

“Taqele’s visa application is an ongoing process and as such he is not able to travel overseas at this point in time,” a spokeswoman for the Waratahs said on Tuesday.

The Waratahs declined to comment on whether the explosive 23-year-old, who leads the team with 3 tries, would be available for subsequent games in South Africa later in the year which could prove season-defining.

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Paddy Ryan

Paddy Ryan

Waratahs & Wallabies prop Paddy Ryan has recommitted to the Waratahs for the 2016 season, his 6th with the franchise.

Waratahs CEO Greg Harris said it was a great result that a player of Paddy’s talent and accomplishments had chosen to re-sign for another year.

“It’s a testament to the culture of the team, and the ability of the coaching staff to develop players, that guys like Paddy choose to continue their careers here,” Harris said.

“Paddy made his Super Rugby debut for New South Wales, and he has been an important part of the team’s recent successes, accordingly it is great to see him recommit to us.

“The Waratahs have invested in Paddy’s development as a player as he has come through the NSW development pathway, and the rewards have been mutually beneficial.

“We look forward to this continuing into 2016.”

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Matt Hodgson

Matt Hodgson

The Western Force have been given a boost as captain Matt Hodgson has signed a contract to play Super Rugby for the Perth side again in 2016, with the option of a further season in 2017.

The evergreen back-rower, who is currently sidelined as he returns from a hamstring injury, remains the most-capped player in the club’s history (113 matches) having made his Super Rugby debut for the Force against the Brumbies in the club’s inaugural match in 2006.

Hodgson, who along with Pek Cowan remain the only current foundation players, claimed his 3rd Nathan Sharpe Medal for the Force’s player of the year in 2014, and returned to the Wallabies squad where he captained the national side in their 40 / 36 win over the Barbarians in London.

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Michael Cheika - Wallabies coach

Michael Cheika – Wallabies coach

The Australian conference’s struggles in Super Rugby has alarm bells ringing Down Under, where media pundits have condemned the nation’s lack of playing depth in a Rugby World Cup year.

4 Of Australia’s teams, including the reigning champion Waratahs, are mired in the bottom 6 of the 15-team southern hemisphere competition halfway through the season.

The 5th, Canberra-based Brumbies, are 2nd but battling to hold ground against New Zealand and South African rivals amid a mounting injury toll.

The conference’s solid performance last season, when the Waratahs broke through for their maiden title and the Brumbies reached the semi-finals, was hailed as a sign of the increasing depth of Australian rugby.

Those achievements have been quickly forgotten, with the Melbourne Rebels, Reds and Western Force conjuring a total of 5 wins between them from the opening 9 Rounds.

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SANZAR under the magnifying glassSANZAR has tactfully sidestepped the latest attack on their integrity, telling South African Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins to “follow the proper channels” if he has grievances.

Hoskins, in a report published in a weekend newspaper, launched a scathing attack on SANZAR, the organisation that controls Southern Hemisphere competitions – Super Rugby and the Rugby championship.

The SARU boss took aim at what he regards as “the inconsistency of recent rulings at disciplinary tribunals” and also targeted SANZAR Chief Executive Greg Peters.

However, the SANZAR boss remained mum on the matter.

Instead a spokesperson said Hoskins is welcome to contact them to raise his concerns.

“Hoskins is aware of the correct channels to air his concerns,” a SANZAR spokesperson said.

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Matt Toomua

Matt Toomua

The Brumbies are facing a test of their squad depth after their Super Rugby defeat on Friday against the Blues.

ACT and Wallaby pivot Matt Toomua has been sidelined for 4 to 6 weeks with an ankle syndesmosis injury suffered in their 14 / 16 loss the Auckland outfit.

The in-form Brumbies prop Scott Sio, who was replaced just after halftime, suffered a knee medial ligament strain.

Sio is staring down the barrel of 6 to 8 weeks out with only 9 Rounds of the Super Rugby regular season remaining.

Inside centre Christian Lealiifano is the likely candidate to take the reins at flyhalf for their upcoming fixture against the Melbourne Rebels, while South African born JP Smith is set to replace Sio at prop.

Utility back James Dargaville, who is a convert from flank to wing, is to undergo scans to identify whether he has broken bones in his foot, which could potentially result in a similar recovery period to Sio.

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Luke Burton

Luke Burton

Western Force inside centre Luke Burton will remain with the Force for a further 2 seasons, extending his contract through to the end of the 2017 season.

The Perth-born 21-year-old made his debut for the Force last season, before adding 8 further caps – including 5 in the starting 15 – to his tally in 2015.

Burton, who has started at both fullback and inside centre this season, has forged a strong partnership with fellow local, Kyle Godwin, in the midfield over the past 3 matches.

The former Australian Under 20 representative says he’s excited about extending his stay at the club.

“I love being a part of the Force and I’m really stoked to be able to stay with the club for another 2 years,” he said.

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Oregan Hoskins

Oregan Hoskins

South African Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins has spoken out strongly against the inconsistency of recent rulings at disciplinary tribunals.

Hoskins is incensed by what he believes to be the unfair handling of cases involving South African players – compared with their New Zealand and Australian counterparts.

He referred to the recent harsh bans handed to Sharks players Bismarck du Plessis (4 weeks), Frans Steyn (5 weeks) and Jean Deysel (7 weeks) – while similar offences by Kiwi and Aussie players received more lenient treatment.

“I didn’t intend to go to the media on this,” Hoskins said.

“But frankly, I’ve just had enough.

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Super RugbyThe Vodacom Bulls held onto their leadership of a ferociously contested South African Conference on a weekend of success at the expense of Australian teams.

The Vodacom Bulls maintained their 2-point advantage over the DHL Stormers on the Log – as both recorded bonus point victories over the Reds (43 / 22) and Waratahs (32 / 18) respectively – while the Toyota Cheetahs showed enormous character to finish their tour on a high in Perth, with a win over the Western Force (24 / 15).

In the South African derby at Emirates Airlines Park, the Emirates Lions underlined the seriousness of their challenge for the Conference title with 2-point victory (23 / 21) over a significantly improved Cell C Sharks, who missed a long-range last-kick penalty, which could have snatched the victory.

The upshot of the weekend was that the Top 4 SA teams are separated by just 4 Log Points – in contrast to their fellow conferences where the Hurricanes top the standings as New Zealand’s Top 4 are spread by 11 points, while an even more clear-cut Australian race sees the Brumbies head a Log in which 17 points cover the Top 4 Australian contenders.

3 Of SA’s winners had to overcome halftime deficits to record victories, with the most notable being those of the DHL Stormers and Toyota Cheetahs who achieved it on Australian soil.

However, the margins were small – both trailed by 2 points – while the Emirates Lions turned round 3 points adrift of the Cell C Sharks, as all 3 teams showed fitness and character to ‘win’ the 2nd half.

In the other match, the Vodacom Bulls’ recent home success over the Reds continued, as they stomped to a 6-try victory, with Francois Hougaard scoring 2 tries from the wing to take his tally to 4 for the season and therefore joining Marcell Coetzee as the leading South African try scorers.

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Michael Cheika - Wallabies coach

Michael Cheika – Wallabies coach

Waratahs and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says that it is obvious he is not liked or respected in New Zealand, as the saga of his halftime chat with referee Jaco Peyper rumbles on.

Cheika was given a warning by SANZAR earlier in the week for entering the referee’s room at halftime during his team’s match against the Blues 2 weeks ago.

The Waratahs coach was already on a warning after he verbally abused a camera man last year and many have said that SANZAR should have come down on him harder.

In particular Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said that he was dismayed at the leniency SANZAR showed when they decided that Cheika had broken a law of the game – but not breached the code of conduct.

Had SANZAR ruled that Cheika had broken a code of conduct he could have been suspended from rugby and been unable to coach the Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup.

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James Horwill

James Horwill

Reds coach Richard Graham has made a dramatic about turn in his stance on suspended Wallaby lock James Horwill.

Horwill was initially excluded from the Reds’ 27-man squad for their 2-week tour to South Africa, after copping a 1-game ban for striking an opponent in the 15 / 23 loss to the Melbourne Rebels.

Graham explained the decision to leave to the veteran lock at home by saying that he needed a full quota of players to prepare with.

However, subsequent to their 22 / 43 loss to the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria at the weekend, the Reds coach sent an S.O.S. to Horwill – who will join the team in the build-up to their encounter with the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this coming Saturday.

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Allister Coetzee

Allister Coetzee

An elated DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee heaped the praise on his coaching team and all the players in the aftermath of their excellent 32 / 18 Vodacom Super Rugby win over the defending champion Waratahs earlier today.

The DHL Stormers overturned a 13 / 15 half-time deficit to record their 1st tour win of 2015 against the reigning champs – also scoring 4 tries in the process in Sydney.

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Super RugbyIt is Round 9 of Super Rugby 2015 this weekend.

There is only 1 game on Friday 10 April but we have 5 games on Saturday 11 April.

The Melbourne Rebels, Chiefs & Hurricanes have BYE weekends.

There is 1 South African derby on the weekend, between the Emirates Lions and Cell C Sharks, with 2 SA sides currently on tour and the Vodacom Bulls also playing inside South Africa on the weekend.

Only 1 undefeated team still remains prior to the start of the weekend, the Hurricanes, and they celebrate their 2nd BYE weekend this weekend.

On Friday, the lone game is the one between the Blues and Brumbies in Auckland, at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT).

On Saturday morning the Ccrusaders host the Highlanders in Christchurch at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT), whereafter the Waratahs will host the DHL Stormers in Sydney at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 09:40 GMT).

Slightly later and a couple of hours in time zones to the West – in Perth at 13:45 SA Time, the Western Force host the Toyota Cheetahs.

Next up, at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT), the Emirayes Lions host the Cell C Sharks in Johannesburg, before the last game of the Round where the Vodacom Bulls host the Reds in Pretoria at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT, Sunday 03:10 AEST).

The Brumbies should beat the Blues, even in the Blues backyard of Auckland on Friday.

On Saturday one would suspect that the high-flying Crusaders will beat the Highlanders in Christchurch (after they so thoroughly dismantled the Sharks last weekend in Durban).

Waratahs or DHL Stormers? Well, I suppose the advantage should go to the home team… the Waratahs.

In Perth another difficult game to pick a winner for… will it be the bottom-dwelling Western Force or the also-bottom-dwelling Toyota Cheetahs to appear victorious? Your guess is as good as mine.

The Emirates Lions vs Sharks game is probably shaping up to be the game of the weekend and once again the question is asked who will be victorious… the flying Lions or the back-paddling “Gold-fish” (Cell C Sharks)… surely the Sharks have always or almost always had the Lions’ measure… and why should 2015 be so different?

In Pretoria all logic would suggest that the Bulls should beat the Rubble Reds.. and convincingly so, but the Bulls are still resting key players and often flatter to deceive in recent years!

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The Brumbies have launched a special edition jersey to commemorate 100 years since the Anzac landing.

The Brumbies will proudly wear the jersey against the Highlanders at GIO Stadium, Canberra on 24 April, as part of the Anzac weekend celebrations.

The jersey, which features poppies on the body panels, camo and the ‘Soldier On’ logo on its back, is now on sale via the club website or at Brumbies HQ at the University of Canberra.

Super RugbyWith only 2 points separating 4 of the South African franchises on the Vodacom Super Rugby log after 8 weeks of play, Round 9 of the competition will again be crucial for local teams, with the derby in Johannesburg between the Emirates Lions and Cell C Sharks set to attract huge interest from spectators.

The remaining 3 South African sides play Australian opponents on Saturday, with the DHL Stormers taking on the Waratahs in Sydney, the Toyota Cheetahs playing the Western Force in Perth and the Vodacom Bulls closing out a big weekend of rugby in their Pretoria clash against the Reds.

The DHL Stormers will be looking for a 1st tour win against the defending champion Waratahs, knowing that the home side has won 12 of their last 13 matches in Sydney, with a victory margin of 18 points per match.

The Toyota Cheetahs will still be chasing a 1st overseas win in 2015, when they close out their tour against the Western Force at the NIB Stadium in Perth. The Cheetahs have won at this venue in the past, but will have to defend like never before.

They average the most missed tackles in the competition, while the home side maintains the best tackling success rate (90%).

The Emirates Lions host the Cell C Sharks at Emirates Airline Park in the only South African derby of the weekend, which is expected to be a fiercely contested clash. The home team is well aware that a win could push them into 1st place in the South African conference, albeit that the Vodacom Bulls could again overhaul them later in the evening.

The Cell C Sharks will be desperate to put their recent misfortunes behind them and win away from home.

The Vodacom Bulls take on the Reds, who despite not having the greatest of seasons, have a good record against the Loftus Versfeld team, winning 10 of their 16 encounters. Continue reading

BrumbiesThe Brumbies have named an unchanged starting side Friday’s Super Rugby clash against the Blues having come through last week’s win over the Toyota Cheetahs unscathed.

On the bench JP Smith reclaims his spot as back-up prop with Allan Alaalatoa dropping out of the match-day 23.

Given the Blues strength up front and unpredictability in the backs, the game promises to be a massive battle which will test the Brumbies across the park.

Brumbies and Wallabies prop Scott Sio said his side would need to be on top its game to make and impact on Friday night.

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Karmichael Hunt

Karmichael Hunt

Cocaine-tainted code-hopper Karmichael Hunt will make his 1st start for the Reds since his 6-week ban, when he dons the No 15 jersey against the Bulls at Loftus on Saturday.

Hunt is one of 6 changes for the beleaguered Reds, with injuries and suspensions playing their part.

Lock Rob Simmons will play his 1st game of the 2015 season this weekend, returning from a shoulder injury to take his place in the starting side.

Simmons replaces James Horwill, who is serving a 1-week suspension for striking.

Saia Fainga’a returns to the starting side, with James Hanson moved to the bench.

Injury to Jake Schatz has forced a shuffle in the back row, with Curtis Browning starting at blindside flank and Adam Thomson shifting to No 8.

In the backs, injury to Quade Cooper means Nick Frisby resumes the role of starting flyhalf.

A recurrence of a calf injury has ruled out James O’Connor, meaning Lachie Turner shifts to the wing and Hunt returns to the starting lineup at fullback.

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Western ForceFullback Dane Haylett-Petty will return to the Western Force starting line-up for the franchise’s 10th season anniversary match against the Toyota Cheetahs in Perth on Saturday.

The Force entered the Super Rugby competition with the Cheetahs in 2006, with the Western Australian franchise recording its 1st tournament victory against the Bloemfontein-based side in Kimberly that same year.

Haylett-Petty, who returned from a 6-week foot injury off the bench against the Sharks a fortnight ago, will start in the No 15 jersey, with Luke Morahan to start on the wing.

On the bench, Chris Alcock returns to the Force’s match day 23 while Marcel Brache will provide coverage for the outside backs.

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Michael Cheika & Jaco Peyper in hot water

Michael Cheika & Jaco Peyper in hot water

SANZAR confirmed that it received a formal complaint in regard to the alleged conduct of Waratahs head coach, Michael Cheika, following the Waratahs vs Blues match played at Allianz Stadium on Saturday 28 March.

After undertaking a thorough investigation, including receiving statements from all parties involved, it was determined that Mr Cheika had approached the match referee, Jaco Peyper, in front of the other match officials to seek clarification on a scrum interpretation during the halftime break of the Waratahs vs Blues match.

In a short and polite exchange that took place in the referee’s change room, Mr Peyper responded to Mr Cheika’s request for clarification. No other issues were discussed. Both Mr Cheika and Mr Peyper have subsequently acknowledged this exchange should not have taken place and apologised.

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WaratahsWaratahs Head Coach Michael Cheika has named an unchanged starting side for the match against the DHL Stormers, with Adam Ashley-Cooper and Tatafu Polota-Nau named to return from injury via the bench.

Ashley-Cooper has been sidelined for almost 2 months with a rare knee injury but has finally been deemed fit and will return to the substitutes bench.

Polota-Nau will be returning to the field after suffering a head knock at training weeks ago.

As we have become used to in 2015, coach Michael Cheika has named 2 Extra Players on the bench, for the bench to be finalized and reduced closer to game time.

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Sarel Pretorius

Sarel Pretorius

The Toyota Cheetahs have named live-wire scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius in the starting 15 for their match against the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

There are only 2 changes to the Cheetahs team, namely up front where BG Uys starts and Danie Mienie moving to the bench and at the back with Sarel Pretorius back in the starting line-up and Tian Meyer on the bench.

This will mark the 9th Super Rugby encounter between the 2 teams.

The Western Force is leading with 5 wins to the 3 wins of the Cheetahs.

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