The end is nigh for one of the locking greats of Super Rugby and the Wallabies.BY BARRY ROSS
Brumbies openside flanker Michael Hooper has received an off-field yellow card for his tip-tackle on Hurricanes No 8 Victor Vito, meaning he is free to play against the Reds this Saturday.
The South African Rugby Union says its Super Rugby teams have agreed on a number of ways to solve the problem of six franchises competing for five places in next year’s competition – but is remaining tight-lipped on what those options are.
There are serious doubts about the playing future of Benson Stanley after he suffered yet another concussion at the weekend.
Northland No 8 Cam Goodhue has been called into the Blues squad ahead of tomorrow night’s game against the Crusaders in Christchurch as an injury replacement for Peter Saili.
Wallaby loose forward Scott Higginbotham has signed with the Rebels.
Captain Jamie Mackintosh has been reinstated in the Highlanders’ front-row and will be joined there by his Southland teammate Jason Rutledge when the side takes on the Bulls in Dunedin tomorrow afternoon.
Dan Carter has returned to his favoured first five position and Richie McCaw will pack down at No 8 when the Crusaders take on the Blues in Christchurch on Saturday night.
Blues coach Pat Lam has hit out at the New Zealand Herald, saying it “crossed the line” by sending a reporter and photographer to his Auckland home last night.
Quade Cooper will make his long-awaited return from injury when the Reds take on the Lions in Brisbane on Saturday night.
First five Beauden Barrett will start from the bench when the Hurricanes take on the Brumbies in Wellington on Friday night.
Hosea Gear or Zac Guildford look set to earn an All Blacks recall, with Richard Kahui set to miss the June tests against Ireland with a dislocated shoulder.
The Hurricanes will play the Queensland Reds in a mid-season exhibition game on the Sunshine Coast next month.
Liam Messam and Brodie Retallick have been restored to the Chiefs starting line-up as the side eyes its 10th consecutive win of the season against the Reds in Brisbane on Sunday afternoon.
Andrew Hore will captain the Highlanders tomorrow night against the Hurricanes, with regular skipper Jamie Mackintosh being rested.
Reggie Goodes will start his first game for the Hurricanes when they take on the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday night.
Richie McCaw returns to the Crusaders starting line-up for their match against the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday night.
Southland flanker Tim Boys has joined the battered and bruised Highlanders as injury cover.
There are plenty of mouth-watering clashes on offer this weekend.
Which player was unlucky to miss out on the All Blacks’ wider training squad?
Gordon Tietjens’ success in sevens is unrivalled and should place him in the same coaching league as Sir Alex Ferguson.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen named a 38-man training squad and there are a couple of oversights worth highlighting