DAVE CAMPBELL profiles five relatively unknown players who have made a splash in Super Rugby this season.
English first five Danny Cipriani will return from injury when the Rebels take on the Blues in Melbourne on Thursday night.
Piri Weepu has been benched for the Blues’ must-win clash against the Rebels in Melbourne on Thursday night.
The Hurricanes are pondering plenty at training this week as they prepare to play the Sharks in New Plymouth on Friday night.
Western Force lock Phoenix Battye has avoided punishment for his spear tackle on Reds halfback Will Genia.
Chiefs wing Lelia Masaga will make his return from a knee injury when the side hosts the Waratahs in Hamilton tomorrow night.
The injury-hit Highlanders have received a boost, with former All Blacks lock Jarrad Hoeata to start against the Melbourne Rebels in Invercargill tomorrow night.
Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg has more incentive than most other Super Rugby rookies to make a big splash in his debut season. BY DAVE CAMPBELL
Openside flanker Karl Lowe will play his first game for the Hurricanes in nearly two years when the side takes on the Cheetahs in Wellington on Saturday afternoon.
Under-fire Blues coach Pat Lam has been reprimanded and forced to apologise for criticising SANZAR citing commissioner Steve Hinds.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is not concerned by the rustiness of some of New Zealand’s top players in Super Rugby, but admits they might miss national team selection if they continue to underwhelm during the middle part of the year.
All Blacks halfback Jimmy Cowan is having talks with Gloucester, according to a British newspaper report.
The Highlanders will be without the injured Adam Thomson, John Hardie and Phil Burleigh for their clash against the Brumbies in Canberra tomorrow night.
Brackin Karauria-Henry is out to make a NSW Waratahs backline spot his own this season. BY JOHN DAVIDSON
Dan Carter is to make his return from injury off the bench when the Crusaders take on the Cheetahs at the new Christchurch Stadium on Saturday night.
Jason Eaton is adamant that there are no lingering issues with Mark Hammett after the second-term Hurricanes coach’s initial reluctance to offer him a 2012 contract.
Blues fullback Isaia Toeava’s hip injury is worse than first thought and could keep him off the field for the rest of the year.
Piri Weepu will play first five when the Blues take on the Hurricanes in Auckland on Friday night.
With the series level, expect both teams to put it all on the line as they seek to win the deciding test in Sydney on Saturday night.