Hayden Parker will have a chance to push his claims for the Highlanders pivot role in the opening rounds of Super Rugby.
Oft-injured All Blacks centre Richard Kahui has announced he’s signed to play in Japan.
Piri Weepu will make his first pre-season appearance for the Blues on Friday against the Highlanders.
Conrad Smith will return to the field when the Hurricanes play their annual match in Mangatainoka on Saturday.
The Rebels have named their side to face the Force in the opening game of Super Rugby on Friday night.
The Crusaders have named a near full-strength side to face the Waratahs on Thursday.
The Melbourne Rebels have named former Welsh international Gareth Delve as their captain for 2013.
The Rebels and the Hurricanes have named their sides for their pre-season fixture on Saturday in Melbourne.
The Chiefs have named a strong team to play the Reds in their second pre-season match on Friday.
Ali Williams will captain the Blues for the first time when the team lines up in a pre-season fixture against the Waratahs in Whangarei on Saturday.
Ma’a Nonu will make his Highlanders debut on Friday when they take on the Crusaders in Oaramu.
The Waratahs have named flanker Dave Dennis as their captain for 2013.
The Crusaders have called in Telusa Veainu to cover the departure of All Blacks winger Zac Guildford.
Wallabies utility forward Ben McCalman has re-signed with the Australian Rugby Union and the Force through to the end of 2015.
Rebels and Wallabies wing Cooper Vuna will be out of rugby for the next six weeks.
Former All Blacks lock Brad Thorn will play his first game for the Highlanders when the side takes on the Chiefs in a warm-up match in Taupo tomorrow.
Craig Clarke and Liam Messam will once again co-lead the Chiefs in Super Rugby this year.
The Blues’ newcomers will have a prime opportunity to showcase their wares when the side takes on a powerful Reds outfit in a pre-season hitout in Toowoomba tomorrow night.
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