Sam Carter returns to the starting side this Friday when the Brumbies take on the Chiefs in a Super Rugby Final rematch, Anzac Day showdown at GIO Stadium.
Two of the competition’s leading sides over the last two years go head to head in Canberra for the first time since 2011, with Carter one of just two adjustments to the side which also sees a return to the starting side of Christian Lealiifano at inside centre.
Pat McCabe moves back to the bench, while Tom Staniforth drops out of the match-day 23.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has made three changes to his team to face the Sharks at Growthpoint KINGS PARK Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.
Joseph has made just two personnel and one positional change to team which beat the Bulls a fortnight ago as they kick of their South African tour.
Sam Wykes and Jayden Hayward will return to the starting line-up when the Force tackles the Bulls at nib Stadium on Saturday evening.
Wykes has recovered from a rib injury and returns to the starting pack, alongside second-rower Adam Coleman, who was impressive in his starting debut for the Force against the Rebels last weekend.
Lock Wilhelm Steenkamp will provide coverage from the bench in his first appearance against his former club since joining the Force ahead of the 2014 Super Rugby season.
Flip van der Merwe has been suspended for 3 weeks, following a Judicial Hearing, following a punch on the weekend, against the Waratahs!
Hearing Details: Wednesday 23 April 2014 at 08:00 SA Time, 16:00 AEST, 18:00 NZ Time
Judicial Hearing Chairman: Adam Casselden
Player: Flip van der Merwe
Date of Incident: 19 April 2014
Nature of Offence: Law 10.4 (a) Punching or Striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow,shoulder, head or knee(s).
Elapsed time in match when incident occurred: 75th minute
A number of promising, young Super Rugby players have opted to leave New Zealand for bigger money deals abroad.
According to the Radio New Zealand website, Hurricanes fullback Andre Taylor has signed a two-year deal with Japanese club, Kintetsu Liners.
He joins team-mates Jarrad Hoeata (lock) and flank Jack Lam, Blues prop Tom McCartney and Chiefs centre Bundee Aki in recently accepting big overseas offers, while former All Black flank Tanerau Latimer is reportedly also heading to Japan next year.
New Zealand Rugby and the Blues have agreed and confirmed the terms of Benji Marshall’s release from his Super Rugby contract.
Following Friday night’s match against the Hurricanes, Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan and Benji Marshall had some frank and honest discussions and mutually agreed the best path forward was for Marshall to return to rugby league.
Scotland international Ruaridh Jackson is set to join Wasps next season after being told he is free to leave Glasgow Warriors.
The 23-times capped No 10 has been offered a lucrative deal to sign for the Aviva Premiership outfit, who are chasing a place in the European Cup next season.
When the next 4 Springboks who are due to head overseas to earn their keep in Euro and Yen depart, it will be the first time since the inception of professional rugby that more Springboks will be playing rugby overseas than in South Africa, it was reported on the weekend.
The Cheetahs are hoping to have two key players available for their Super Rugby clash against the Stormers in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
According to reports, flyhalf Johan Goosen (concussion) and flank Lappies Labuschagné (groin) could be ready to face the Capetonians.
There are suggestions that Pat Lambie could still make a comeback before the play-offs in July.
Holders Toulon look set to be able to call on influential flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson and hooker Craig Burden for the European Cup semifinal against Munster.
The pair, out injured for the past two weeks, have reported fit and both turned out for training on Monday.
High-profile code hopper Benji Marshall is ready to tuck his tail between his legs and run back to Rugby League.
The Australian media reported on Monday that Marshall has asked for an immediate release from the Blues Super Rugby outfit, in order to return to the National Rugby League in Australia.
According to the reports Marshall has asked his manager Martin Tauber to open discussions with NRL clubs.
Chiefs lock Michael Fitzgerald has been suspended for one week after he pleaded guilty on a charge of dangerous tackling in his team’s 10th round Super Rugby match against the Crusaders.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Jannie Lubbe SC accepted a guilty plea from Fitzgerald for contravening Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous Tackling, after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
Crusaders lock Dominic Bird has been suspended for one week for foul play during his team’s 17-18 tenth round Super Rugby victory over the Chiefs on Saturday.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Jannie Lubbe SC accepted a guilty plea from Dominic Bird of the Crusaders for contravening Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous Tackling, after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
The Cell C Sharks backline shows two injury-enforced changes for this Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby derby clash against the visiting Cheetahs at Growthpoint KINGS PARK.
Odwa Ndungane’s upper shoulder knock sustained against the Lions in their victory over the Joburg side last week sees him replaced by Tonderai Chavhanga who has been getting game time for the Cell C Sharks XV in the Vodacom Cup following his return from injury and makes his debut for the Cell C Sharks at this level.
Tom McCartney has decided to swap Super Rugby for the Pro12 by signing a three-year contract with Irish side Connacht.
McCartney has been a consistent performer for the Blues since he made his Super Rugby debut in 2008 against the Chiefs.
He has since accumulated 64 appearances in the competition.
New Zealand flyhalf Stephen Brett will join second division leaders Lyon on a two year deal from Bayonne next season.
The 28-year-old, who has been capped by the All Blacks at Under-21 level, signed with Bayonne one year ago and has made 20 Top 14 appearances, kicking 15 penalties and a conversion.
Tanerau Latimer will play his 100th game for the Chiefs when they host the Crusaders in Hamilton on Saturday.
The 4-cap All Black loose forward first played five Super Rugby games for the Crusaders in 2006, but since joining the Chiefs in 2007 he has racked up 99 caps, scored eight tries and won two Super Rugby titles.
The 27-year-old will become only the second player in the Chiefs 18-year history to become a centurion and will join Liam Messam in this elite club.
Chiefs outside back Mils Muliaina has been ruled out for the rest of the Super Rugby season.
The former All Blacks fullback has succumbed to an elbow injury aggravated in their round two match against the Crusaders in February.
Fullback Israel Folau is back in the Waratahs team for their Super Rugby clash against the Bulls in Sydney on Saturday.
Folau was sensationally withdrawn from the Waratahs’ team on the eve of their match with the Western Force in Perth last Saturday because the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) was concerned about his throat injury.
South-African born prop Reggie Goodes will make his first start of the season for the Hurricanes against the Blues in Wellington on Friday.
The introduction of the 22-year-old loosehead prop is the only change that Hurricanes head coach Mark Hammett has made to his side for the arrival of the Auckland-based side, and it is injury-inforced.
Cell C Sharks loose-forward Jean Deysel will depart the franchise at the end of the Vodacom Super Rugby season to join Japanese top league club, Toyota Verblitz on a two-year deal.
Lions coach Johan Ackermann may be forced to change a third of his team as mounting injuries and a looming four week Vodacom Super Rugby tour compound his headaches ahead of Saturday’s clash against the DHL Stormers at Newlands.
Ackermann has already lost fullback Andries Coetzee (knee) and midfielder Alwyn Hollenbach (lip) and could lose another three players before he names his team on Thursday.
While some of the players are on the borderline whether or not they can play, Ackermann will need to weigh up whether or not to risk them this week or give them a rest to ensure they are ready for the team’s tour in a fortnight.
Veteran hooker Keven Mealamu will make his long-awaited return to Super Rugby against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday after battling back from another calf injury that sidelined him for more than a month.
The veteran Blues forward has battled calf injuries for the last three seasons and has played just once in 2014, as a second half replacement against the Crusaders on 28 February.
The Eastern Province Kings are chasing the signature of Springbok prop Brian Mujati ahead of the start of the Currie Cup.
The Kings have already been bolstered by the recent signings of lock Izak van der Westhuizen (Edinburgh), hooker Michael van Vuuren (Stade Français), centre Tim Whitehead (Sharks), scrumhalf Kevin Luiters (Cheetahs) and wing Paul Perez (Samoa).
The Lions will be without the services of fullback Andries Coetzee and utility back Alwyn Hollenbach for their Super Rugby clash against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.
Coetzee, who recently returned to the playing field after injuring his left knee in pre-season, injured it again against the Sharks last weekend.
Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White is yet to decide whether Frans Steyn or Tim Swiel will start at flyhalf against the Cheetahs this weekend.
Fred Zeilinga injured his hamstring in the victory over the Lions at Ellis Park last Saturday and was replaced by Steyn who shifted from inside centre and performed well at pivot.
Zeilinga joins first-choice flyhalf Pat Lambie on the sidelines, with his injury expected to rule him out for a couple of weeks, which leaves White with an interesting decision.
Highlanders flank TJ Ioane has been ruled out of his team’s two-match tour of South Africa due to a calf strain.
The explosive loose forward has been sidelined for the two home wins against the Rebels and Bulls, and has since been ruled out of their South African trip which features clashes against the Stormers and Sharks.
The Chiefs have been given a boost for this weekend’s Super Rugby match against a resurgent Crusaders team in Hamilton on Saturday as Brodie Retallick has been passed fit.
Retallick was forced to leave the field in Saturday’s ninth round match against the Melbourne Rebels after suffering a head knock but looks OK to play this weekend.
Waratahs back-rower Wycliff Palu is in doubt for this weekend’s Super Rugby clash against the Bulls in Sydney this week following the death of his father last week.
Prop Sekope Kepu and his teammates say that as much as they need in form Palu in the team they will understand if he is unable to play.