Charlie Faumuina, Luke Braid and Tom McCartney have re-signed with the Blues for a further two seasons.
Liam Messam will return from injury when the table-topping Chiefs travel to Brisbane to take on the Reds this Sunday afternoon.
Brumbies flyhalf Christian Lealiifano will be sidelined for six months after dislocating and fracturing his right ankle during last Saturday’s 23-6 victory over the Waratahs.
Finally, some good news for the Blues.
It is a case of the walking wounded for the Highlanders following their loss to the Sharks yesterday morning (NZT).
Wing Sean Maitland may make his return from injury when the Crusaders host the Reds in Christchurch on Sunday afternoon in a repeat of last year’s Super Rugby final.
There will be pressure on Doug Tietjens when the Highlanders take on the Sharks in Durban on Sunday morning (Australasian time).
Sonny Bill Williams is putting his hand up to wear the All Blacks No 12 jersey against Ireland in June, says coach Steve Hansen.
The high-flying Chiefs have made multiple changes for their clash against the lowly Lions in Pukekohe tomorrow night
Blockbusting Reds No 8 Scott Higginbotham wants his side’s frenetic opening against the Blues, which saw them score two tries in the first six minutes, to be the template for the rest of the season.
The Hurricanes will head into their match against the Blues in Wellington on Friday night without a specialist back-up first five and lock.
The Highlanders will be without England flanker James Haskell after he was suspended for three-weeks for striking during the team’s victory over the Cheetahs last weekend.
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has confirmed he has held talks with Piri Weepu, but is remaining tight-lipped on what the pair discussed.
Flanker Tanerau Latimer has re-signed with the Chiefs for a further two seasons.
Ben Smith will make his return from injury when the Highlanders play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Sunday morning (NZT).
The Blues have suffered a massive blow ahead of their clash with the Reds in Auckland tomorrow night.
Halfback TJ Perenara and wings Cory Jane and Julian Savea will front for the Hurricanes when they take on the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday night.
Piri Weepu is missing his daughters so much that he is considering a return to the Hurricanes next year.
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