Super Rugby Updates
1 March, 2018, 12:00 am
Tana Umaga has welcomed back a couple of his big guns, but lost All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams to a knee knock for Friday’s Super Rugby home opener against the Chiefs at Eden Park. Despite a pretty impressive effort overall in their season-opening 41-34 defeat to the Highlanders in Dunedin last Friday (grabbing a losing bonus point), Umaga has made five changes to his starting XV and five more to a rearranged bench.
Barretts set to start
Jordie Barrett is poised to join brother Beauden in the Hurricanes’ starting XV on Sunday.
The younger Barrett arrived in Argentina yesterday, where the Hurricanes are due to meet the Jaguares at 10.40am (NZ time). Jordie Barrett hasn’t played Super Rugby since injuring his shoulder in last year’s semifinal loss to the Lions, but saw some action for the Hurricanes’ development team on Sunday and replaces Wes Goosen (ankle) in the squad to play in Buenos Aires.
All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino will pull down the curtain down on his rugby career in New Zealand at the end of the Super Rugby season, announcing he is off to France by year’s end.
The 34-year-old, a two-time Rugby World Cup winner, finishes his All Blacks career having played 81 tests.
He is the third most-capped Blues player in history with 127 games to date, behind Keven Mealamu (164) and Tony Woodcock (137).
Tui cops 3
Queensland Reds lock Lukhan Tui has joined his captain and fellow Wallabies forward Scott Higginbotham in copping a three-match suspension from Super Rugby.
Referee Brendon Pickerill issued a yellow card to Tui for a lifting tackle on Will Genia during the first half of the Melbourne clash on Friday, which the Rebels won 45-19.
Tui was later cited and that was upheld on Tuesday by the three-man judicial committee chaired by Michael Heron QC.