Super Rugby Trans Tasman reaches its penultimate round of fixtures this weekend, with the ten sides doing battle between Friday and Sunday.
The New Zealand teams are out to continue their near-absolute dominance against their Australian rivals, who have mustered just one victory between them so far.
Super Rugby Aotearoa & AU 2021: Predictions for 4-5 June
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing. Score margins use the methodology developed by Rugby Vision or StatsChat.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman: Crusaders vs Western Force
The Crusaders sign off their regulation home season in Super Rugby Trans Tasman when they host the Western Force in Christchurch on Friday.
New Zealand’s serial champions come into the penultimate round of fixtures a point off top spot with three wins from three, while their visitors have suffered a trio of losses to Aotearoa opposition.
The Aussies will at least face a weakened side, with George Bower, Sam Whitelock, Richie Mo’unga and Sevu Reece all rested this weekend.
Ollie Callan makes his Force debut as one of four changes to coach Tim Sampson’s starting line up.
Crusaders Starting XV: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Fergus Burke, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Sione Havili Talitui, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tamaiti Williams.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Isileli Tu’ungafasi, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Dallas McLeod, 23 Josh McKay.
Western Force Starting XV: 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin (captain), 11 Richard Kahui, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Ollie Callan, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Angus Warner, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Tim Anstee, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Jack McGregor, 23 Jordan Olowofela.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman: Queensland Reds vs Blues
Super Rugby Trans Tasman’s top side head to Brisbane on Friday, as Reds host Blues on the penultimate weekend.
The Kiwis have won three from three in the cross-border competition, inching ahead of the Hurricanes at the summit on points difference.
Their hosts became the first Australian side to win a match last weekend, as they pulled off a 40-34 victory over the Chiefs.
And they will step out to back that up with, unsurprisingly, an unchanged starting line up.
The visitors have captain Patrick Tuipulotu back in their run on side, which boasts six All Blacks in total.
Queensland Reds Starting XV: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Isaac Henry, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor (co-captain), 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Liam Wright (co-captain), 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Feao Fotuaika.
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Dane Zander, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Sam Wallis, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Ilaisa Droasese.
Blues Starting XV: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Replacements: 16 Soane Vikena, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jacob Pierce, 20 Hoskins Sotutu, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 AJ Lam.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman: Chiefs vs Rebels
The Chiefs and the Rebels overcome another week of Covid-19 disruption when they play their penultimate Super Rugby Trans Tasman fixture in Sydney on Sunday.
With Melbourne in lockdown, travel restrictions have prevented the notional hosts from leaving home soil, as the Kiwis make the trip across to New South Wales.
Xavier Roe makes a debut at scrum-half for the New Zealand side, who will have to make do without the suspended Damian McKenzie.
Richard Hardwick is back on the flank for the Rebels, as stand-in coach Kevin Foote shuffles his pack.
Chiefs Starting XV: 15 Kaleb Trask, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Bailyn Sullivan, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Xavier Roe, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Pita Gus Sowakula, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Josh Lord, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Reuben O’Neill.
Replacements: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Oliver Norris, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Mitch Brown, 20 Zane Kapeli, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Alex Nankivell, 23 Chase Tiatia.
Rebels Starting XV: 15 George Worth, 14 Lachie Anderson, 13 Stacy Ili, 12 Matt To’omua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Rob Leota, 3 Cabous Eloff, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Rhys Van Neck, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Michael Icely, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Andrew Kellaway, 23 Frank Lomani.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman: Highlanders vs NSW Waratahs
It’s a clash between the Highlanders and the New South Wales Waratahs on the penultimate Saturday of Super Rugby Trans Tasman action.
The home side remain in the mix for the grand final after winning all three of their opening fixtures, while the visitors have lost the lot.
Shannon Frizell misses out for the hosts in Dunedin through injury, while star scrum-half Aaron Smith is rested.
The Aussies have a new front row as Dave Porecki, Darcy Breen and Andrew Tuala are all hailed as injury replacements.
Highlanders Starting XV: 15 Josh Ioane, 14 Sio Tomkinson, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 James Lentjes, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (captain), 1 Ethan de Groot.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Hugh Renton, 21 James Arscott, 22 Sam Gilbert, 23 Teariki Ben-Nicholas.
NSW Waratahs Starting XV: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Carlo Tizzano, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Jeremy Williams, 3 Darcy Breen, 2 David Porecki, 1 Andrew Tuala.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Chris Talakai, 18 TBC, 19 Sam Caird, 20 Will Harris, 21 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 22 Jack Grant, 23 Tane Edmed.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman: Brumbies vs Hurricanes
Super Rugby Trans Tasman pits the Brumbies against the Hurricanes at GIO Stadium on Saturday.
The New Zealanders are second in the table heading into the penultimate weekend, only short of the Blues on points difference, while the home side have lost three from three.
Ardie Savea returns to captain the visitors, who also bring All Black hooker back into the front row.
Luke Reimer makes his first full appearance for the home side on the flank, as one of five starting changes.
Brumbies Starting XV: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Solomone Kata, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Bayley Kuenzle, 11 Mack Hansen, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Ryan Lonergan, 8 Henry Stowers, 7 Luke Reimer, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Nick Frost, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Lachlan Lonergan, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Harry Lloyd, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Tom Hooper, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Nic White, 22 Irae Simone 23 Tom Wright
Hurricanes Starting XV: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Ruben Love, 9 Luke Campbell, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Xavier Numia.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Brayden Iose, 21 Gareth Evans, 22 Cam Roigard, 23 Wes Goosen.