Rebels vs Waratahs, Brumbies vs Reds, Force vs Moana
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has urged the Rebels to find a killer instinct as the Melbourne club searches for its first win of the Super Rugby Pacific season.
And the Waratahs have regained the services of a Wallabies prop for Friday night’s Australian derby at AAMI Park.
Keep checking in for all the round three team news.
Watch the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. All matches streaming ad free, live and on demand
Poihipi scores ‘quickest try of all-time’
CHIEFS vs HIGHLANDERS in Hamilton, Friday 5.05pm AEDT
The last placed Highlanders have been boosted by a trio of All Blacks as they prepare to visit the top of the table Chiefs in round three.
Aaron Smith, Shannon Frizell and Ethan de Groot will all start after coach Clarke Dermody opted to rest them against the defending champion Crusaders.
“it’s been a tricky start for us,” Dermody said.
“It was always going to be way, playing the top three teams in the competition straightaway. The All Blacks rest last week – we had a 14 hour travel day over to Melbourne and then 16 hours home. So, we decided to take that out of our All Blacks legs so that they could be fresh for the next round of games.”
CHIEFS: Shaun Stevenson, Emoni Narawa, Alex Nankivell, Rameka Poihipi, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Damian McKenzie, Brad Weber (co-c), Luke Jacobson, Sam Cane (co-c), Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Tupou Vaa’i, Brodie Retallick, John Ryan, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Aidan Ross
Reserves: Bradley Slater, Ollie Norris, George Dyer, Samipeni Finau, Pita Gus Sowakula, Cortez Ratima, Josh Ioane, Daniel Rona
HIGHLANDERS (15-1): Freddie Burns, Martin Bogado, Josh Timu, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Mosese Dawai, Mitch Hunt, Aaron Smith, Hugh Renton, James Lentjes (c), Shannon Frizell, Josh Dickson, Pari Pari Parkinson, Jermaine Ainsley, Rhys Marshall, Ethan de Groot
Reserves: Leni Apisai, Ayden Johnstone, Saula Ma’u, Fabian Holland, Sean Withy, Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, Fetuli Paea, Connor Garden-Bachop
Referee: Paul Williams
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Donaldson finishes classy NSW try
MELBOURNE REBELS vs NSW WARATAHS in Melbourne, Friday 7.35pm AEDT
Honourable losses are no longer good enough for the winless Rebels, according to Wallabies coach Eddie Jones.
The Melbourne club gave the Hurricanes an almighty scare in Super Round before falling to a 39-33 loss at AAMI Park.
“We’ve got to beat them. That’s not good enough for us,” Jones told the ABC.
“We need to beat the New Zealand sides. The Rebels, they hung in the game, they could have got blown right out. At one stage, they looked like they were going to get blown out. You need to start the game with that intensity against the New Zealand sides.
“You can’t let them get on top. That’s what we want to see going forward. We want to see our players dominating the New Zealand players.”
Rebels coach Kevin Foote has made three changes to his starting XV with Nick Jooste, Cabous Eloff and Josh Kemeny replacing Joe Pincus (quad), Sam Talakai (concussion) and Tuiana Taii Tualima (benched).
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Meanwhile, Waratahs coach Darren Coleman has made just one change to his run-on side, with Wallabies prop Harry Johnson-Holmes coming in for Archer Holz at tighthead.
There is no room in the 23 for big names Tolu Latu and Nemani Nadolo while Test forward Ned Hanigan is on the bench after recovering from a knee injury.
“The Rebels had a really spirited second half last week against a strong Hurricanes team, so we know we are going to have to put in an 80 minute performance this week if we’re going to get a result,” Coleman said.
“They had a strong home crowd behind them last Friday which took them to another level, so we’re under no illusions that we’re going down into a hostile environment.”
REBELS (15-1): Nick Jooste, Lachie Anderson, Reece Hodge, Stacey Ili, Monty Ioane, Carter Gordon, Ryan Louwrens, Richard Hardwick, Brad Wilkin (c), Josh Kemeny, Trevor Hosea, Josh Canham, Cabous Eloff, Alex Mafi, Matt Gibbon
Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Cameron Orr, Pone Fa’amausili, Tuiana Taii Tualima, Vaiolini Ekuasi, James Tuttle, Lukas Ripley, David Feliuai
WARATAHS (15-1): Ben Donaldson, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Izaia Perese, Lalakai Foketi, Max Jorgensen, Tane Edmed, Jake Gordon (c), Langi Gleeson, Michael Hooper, Lachie Swinton, Hugh Sinclair, Jed Holloway, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Dave Porecki, Tom Lambert
Reserves: Mahe Vailanu, Te Tera Faulkner, Daniel Botha, Taleni Seu, Ned Hanigan, Charlie Gamble, Teddy Wilson, Ben Dowling
Referee: Angus Gardner
Swinton smashed by Drua defence
FIJIAN DRUA vs CRUSADERS in Lautoka, Saturday 2.35pm AEDT
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Captain makes throat slitting gesture after heated scuffle
HURRICANES vs BLUES in Wellington, Saturday 5.05pm AEDT
Referee: Nic Berry
‘Biggest score ever’ in Reds history
ACT BRUMBIES vs QUEENSLAND REDS in Canberra, Saturday 7.35pm AEDT
Referee: James Doleman
Force fumble opens door for Reds
WESTERN FORCE vs MOANA PASIFIKA in Perth, Saturday 10pm AEDT
Referee: Jordan Way
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