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Folau was sensationally withdrawn from the Waratahs’ team on the eve of their match with the Western Force in Perth last Saturday because the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) was concerned about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.
Former All Black Piri Weepu could potentially make a miraculous return to playing Super Rugby this weekend when the Blues face the Hurricanes in Wellington.
Thirty-year-old halfback Weepu has made a full recovery from a minor stroke and heart surgery and has returned to training.
Weepu says that he went through an emotional time a couple of weeks ago when he revealed that he had had a stroke before his two Super Rugby matches in South Africa and also a hole in his heart.
Premiership battlers Worcester Warriors have signed 22-year-old tighthead prop Nick Schonert from the Cheetahs.
Schonert, who was part of South Africa’s IRB Junior World Championships side in 2011, is known for his physical presence and technique at the set-piece.
Squad captain Jean de Villiers, prop Pat Cilliers and lock / flank Jurie van Vuuren are all back on deck this week, and available for selection against the Lions.
Hookers Scarra Ntubeni and Tiaan Liebenberg and wing Kobus van Wyk are not available for selection as yet, whilst flank Schalk Burger and winger Cheslin Kolbe will be given until later in the week to see if they are available.
Andries Coetzee has been sent to a surgeon to reassess his knee which may require a clean up, potentially ruling him out for a week or two.
Coetzee suffered knee ligament damage in the Lions pre-season warm up match against the Eastern Province Kings and has not featured in the Lions campaign until last weekend’s 25-12 loss to the Sharks.
Clyde Rathbone insists he is ready for a Super Rugby recall if required after making a successful comeback from injury on Saturday.
The South African-born Rathbone surprised many by joining up with the Brumbies’ Super Rugby squad at the end of the 2012 season – he announced his retirement in 2009.
England and Saracens flyhalf Owen Farrell is in doubt for the rest of season after he was forced to leave the field at half time in the Premiership leaders 28-24 win over second-placed Northampton on Sunday.
Farrell had to be relieved of kicking duties by Argentina’s Marcelo Bosch and didn’t take the field in the second half at Saracens’ home ground in Hendon, north-west London.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster will be hoping that Farrell is fit enough for their end of season tour of New Zealand.
Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke will know on Wednesday if he could select Jurgen Visser, Flip van der Merwe and Akona Ndungane for this weekend’s Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Waratahs in Sydney.
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.
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.