The Blues have called Hawke’s Bay Magpies and Maori All Blacks first five-eighths Ihaia West into their Super Rugby squad as replacement for the injured Baden Kerr who has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
After fracturing a bone at the base of his thumb in a pre-season match against the Hurricanes, 24-year-old Kerr then fractured two fingers playing rugby for his club side Karaka last month and was forced to have surgery, ruling him out of action for at least 12 weeks.
Legendary All Black Brad Thorn’s ageing body has broken down for a second time this season, a bicep injury ruling him out or the remainder of the Super Rugby competition.
It was revealed that the 39-year-old lock forward tore his bicep in the Highlanders’ 27-20 win over the Bulls in Dunedin at the weekend.
Nick Cummins is confident his team’s steely new attitude and willingness to work for each other will help them overcome a growing injury toll.
The Force can dare to dream of securing a maiden finals berth after Saturday night’s win over the Waratahs propelled them into fourth spot on the Super Rugby table.
However, their latest triumph came at a major cost, with scrumhalf Alby Mathewson (ankle) and wing Luke Morahan (hamstring) set to miss this weekend’s clash with the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.
Connacht captured a major overseas signing for the 2014 / 2015 season to further strengthen the midfield.
New Zealand-born centre Bundee Aki, 24, a member of the two-time defending Super Rugby champion Chiefs, has signed a three-year deal with the Irish province, Connacht, and the Irish Rugby Football Union.
Cardiff Blues revealed a major coup in the signing of New Zealand international forward Jarrad Hoeata, from Super Rugby outfit the Highlanders.
Hoeata, who can play second row or back row, will move to the Arms Park at the completion of the 2014 Super Rugby season.
The Tauranga-born ace has been a member of the All Blacks, Maori and All Blacks Sevens teams.
Former England and Leicester Tigers hooker George Chuter has announced that he will retire from playing professional rugby with immediate effect.
The first man to make 250 appearances in Premiership Rugby action and a Rugby World Cup Finalist with England in 2007, Chuter has played 292 first-team games in 13 seasons with Leicester Tigers.
South African star Bryan Habana scored a try on his return to action after a three-month absence because of a hamstring injury as Toulon beat Bordeaux-Begles 22-20 in a thrilling Top 14 encounter on Saturday.
The 30-year-old – a World Cup winner in 2007 – touched down in the 66th minute as Toulon came from 20-9 down to prevail, largely thanks to 14 points from Frederic Michalak.
Waratahs fullback Israel Folau has been ruled out of Saturday night’s match against the Force in Perth by the Australian Rugby Union, following further medical advice regarding his throat injury.
The decision was made by the Australian Rugby Union’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Warren McDonald, and was based on specialist medical advice.
Cheetahs lock Rynard ‘Ligtoring’ Landman has signed a three-year deal with Pro 12 side Newport Gwent Dragons.
Dragons’ Director of Rugby Lyn Jones was delighted to announce the signing which sees the 1.96m, 120 kg second row move to Wales.
The Cell C Sharks starting line-up remains unchanged for this Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Lions from the team named by Director of Rugby Jake White for the Waratahs a fortnight ago.
This means that Odwa Ndungane will run out for his 100th Super Rugby cap.
Paul Jordaan is over his injury and returns to the match 23, replacing Heimar Williams on the bench in the only change White has made. Despite the physical nature of the battle against the Waratahs, the Cell C Sharks had the good fortune of being able to keep the squad intact.
The Vodacom Bulls were forced into a late change to their backline and bench on Thursday when Akona Ndungane pulled a hamstring during the team’s captains run in Dunedin ahead of their Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Highlanders in the Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday.
Tom Staniforth will make his Super Rugby debut at lock when the Brumbies head to Brisbane to turn the tables on the Reds on Friday.
The 19-year-old Australian Under-20 representative has been knocking on the door of Super Rugby for the last 18 months, having trained with the main squad since leaving Canberra Grammar in 2012.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie made eight changes to his team to play the Rebels in a Super Rugby encounter in Hamilton on Saturday.
The changes to the starting line-up is headlined by the move of Gareth Anscombe from fullback to flyhalf.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has named his team to play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein with Kieran Read returning to the starting line up.
Blackadder has largely stuck with the same 23 players that beat the Lions 7-28 in Johannesburg last week.
The Waratahs will unleash try-scoring machine Israel Folau against the Western Force in their Super Rugby clash in Perth on Saturday following the fullback’s return from a throat injury.
Lions Head Coach Johan Ackermann has made just one change to the run on side from that which was well beaten by the Crusaders to take on the Sharks at Ellis Park this weekend last week.
The full media briefing from the Lions reads:
There will be a 39-year-old facing off against a 36-year-old in Dunedin on Friday.
No, it is not in an old-crocks club game, but a high-charged Super Rugby encounter – when two of the most respected locks, both World Cup winners, go head-to-head.
Reds coach Richard Graham has made two changes to his starting team to face the Brumbies in a Super Rugby clash on Friday, the Reds’ official website reports.
Chris Feauai-Sautia returns on the wing for his first start since injuring his hamstring in against the Lions in Johannesburg three weeks ago, replacing Jamie-Jerry Taulagi who moves to the reserves, while Anthony Fainga’a will start at inside centre in place of Mike Harris.
The Crusaders will play a midweek match against England when the Six Nations team tour New Zealand in June this year.
According to the Crusaders’ official website, the game will take place in Christchurch on Tuesday 17 June.
The Brumbies have been boosted by the return of hooker Stephen Moore and loosehead prop Scott Sio for their trip to Brisbane to play the Reds on Friday.
Hopes of the Brumbies handing the Reds their first back-to-back home defeats since 2009 will have been raised with the return of Wallaby internationals Moore and Sio.
The Reds have lost Wallabies wing Lachie Turner for five weeks due to ankle surgery in a blow ahead of their crunch Super Rugby match against the Brumbies.
Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar is in a race against time to be fit for the June Tests after injuring his AC joint playing for his Irish team Ulster.
The Vodacom Bulls have made known, through their official Facebook Page, the names of the team to take on the Highlanders on Friday 11 April 2014.
As expected after the injuries to Dewald Potgieter and Deon Stegmann, who both have had to return to South Africa as a result of longer term injuries, Grant Hattingh gets the nod at No 8, with Jono Ross selected at openside flank (No 6) and with Jacques du Plessis at blindside flank (No 7).
Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht reverts to the bench.
Cell C Sharks flank, Marcell Coetzee, knows that he has to stay on top of his game if he hopes to break into the Springbok loose trio this season as competition is ‘insane’.
Coetzee got his international break in 2012, with Bok coach Heyneke Meyer showing great faith in him from the start of his tenure, but the emergence of Francois Louw and Siya Kolisi saw the Sharks flank play a supporting role from the sidelines last year.
The Lions will be holding thumbs that their winger Courtnall Skosan is cleared to play ahead of their crucial Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Cell C Sharks on Saturday.
Skosan failed a concussion test on Monday and has been sent for further tests, with the medical team deciding on Tuesday whether or not he will play, but coach Johan Ackermann is hoping the nippy wing will be cleared to take his place for the last home game before the Lions go on tour.