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DHL Super Rugby Pacific: Round 9 Teams

DHL Super Rugby Pacific: Round 9 Teams

All BlacksApril 18, 2024

The race towards the finals begins as Round Nine concludes the byes for DHL Super Rugby Pacific.

It begins with a blockbuster as the Fijian Drua welcomes top-of-the-table Hurricanes to Suva.

This is followed by the Queensland Reds hosting the Highlanders in Brisbane, with both teams desperate for victory.

The Blues welcome the ACT Brumbies back to Auckland in a rematch of their epic 2022 semi-final.

The Western Force concludes the round against the Crusaders as they return home to Perth.

The Waratahs, Chiefs, Rebels and Moana Pasifika have the bye.

ROUND NINE TEAMS

*All times local

FIJIAN DRUA v HURRICANES

Friday 19 April: HFC Bank Stadium, Suva (19:05)

FIJIAN DRUA (1-15): Haereiti Hetet, Tevita Ikanivere (c), Mesake Doge, Isoa Nasilasila, Leone Rotuisolia, Vilive Miramira, Kitione Salawa, Elia Canakaivata, Simione Kuruvoli, Isikeli Rabitu, Epeli Momo, Kemu Valetini, Iosefo Masi, Selestino Ravutaumada, Ilaisa Droasese

RESERVES: Zuriel Togiatama, Livai Natave, Samu Tawake, Mesake Vocevoce, Meli Derenalagi, Peni Matawalu, Michael Naitokani, Junior Ratuva

HURRICANES (1-15): Tevita Mafileo, James O'Reilly, Pasilio Tosi, Ben Grant, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Brad Shields (c), Du'Plessis Kirifi, Devan Flanders, TJ Perenara, Aidan Morgan, Salesi Rayasi, Jordie Barrett, Billy Proctor, Kino Naholo, Josh Moorby

RESERVES: Asafo Aumua, Xavier Numia, Siale Lauaki, Caleb Delany, Peter Lakai, Richard Judd, Ruben Love, Bailyn Sullivan

Referee: Paul Williams

Assistant Referees: Dan Waenga, Mike Winter

Key match-up: Can’t go past the wing battle here. The Hurricanes boast two speedy Fijians on the wing in the shape of Salesi Rayasi and Kini Naholo. They square off against the Fijian Drua’s dynamic pairing of Selestino Ravutaumada and Epeli Momo.

NZR+ Expert Tipsters call: Fijian Drua by 7.

Think you know more than our expert? Make your predictions on each clash with the NZR+ Play Predictor HERE.

QUEENSLAND REDS v HIGHLANDERS

Friday 19 April: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane (19:35)

REDS (1-15): Alex Hodgman, Matt Faessler, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Cormac Daly, Ryan Smith, Liam Wright (c), John Bryant, Harry Wilson, Kalani Thomas, Tom Lynagh, Mac Grealy, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Suli Vunivalu, Jock Campbell

RESERVES: Josh Nasser, Peni Ravai, Sef Fa'agase, Angus Blyth, Joe Brial, Louis Werchon, Lawson Creighton, Tim Ryan

HIGHLANDERS (1-15): Ethan de Groot, Ricky Jackson, Saula Ma'u, Hugo Pummer, Pari Pari Parkinson, Oliver Haig, Sean Withy, Billy Harmon (c), James Arscott, Cameron Millar, Jona Nareki, Sam Gilbert, Tanielu Tele'a, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Connor Garden-Bachop

RESERVES: Henry Bell, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Rohan Wingham, Will Stodart, Nikora Broughton, Folau Fakatava, Ajay Faleafaga, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens

Referee: Jordan Way

Assistant Referees: Nic Berry, Damon Murphy

Key match-up: The clash between Highlanders powerhouse Ethan de Groot and former All Black Jeffery Toomaga-Allen up front could prove pivotal to the final result.

NZR+ Expert Tipsters call: Highlanders by 2.

Think you know more than our expert? Make your predictions on each clash with the NZR+ Play Predictor HERE.

BLUES v ACT BRUMBIES

Saturday 20 April: Eden Park, Auckland (19:05)

BLUES (1-15): Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Ricky Riccitelli, Marcel Renata, Patrick Tuipulotu (c), Laghlan McWhannell, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papali'i, Hoskins Sotutu, Taufa Funaki, Harry Plummer, Caleb Clarke, Bryce Heem, Rieko Ioane, Mark Tele'a, Cole Forbes

RESERVES: Kurt Eklund, Joshua Fusitu'a, Angus Ta'avao, Sam Darry, Adrian Choat, Sam Nock, Lucas Cashmore, AJ Lam

BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Billy Pollard, Sefo Kautai, Darcy Swain, Cadeyrn Neville, Rob Valetini, Jahrome Brown, Charlie Cale, Ryan Lonergan (c), Noah Lolesio, Corey Toole, Tamati Tua, Hudson Creighton, Ollie Sapsford, Tom Wright

RESERVES: Connal McInerney, Blake Schoupp, Rhys Van Nek, Nick Frost, Tom Hooper, Luke Reimer, Harrison Goddard, Jack Debreczeni,

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe

Assistant Referees: Stu Curran, Jackson Henshaw

Key match-up: Rob Valetini v Akira Ioane. Two players who love to run it straight. Bring it on.

NZR+ Expert Tipsters call: ACT Brumbies by 21.

Think you know more than our expert? Make your predictions on each clash with the NZR+ Play Predictor HERE.

WESTERN FORCE v CRUSADERS

Saturday 20 April: HBF Park, Perth (17:35)

FORCE (1-15): Ryan Coxon, Tom Horton, Santiago Medrano, Sam Carter, Thomas Franklin, Will Harris, Carlo Tizzano, Reed Prinsep, Nic White (c), Ben Donaldson, Chase Tiatia, Hamish Stewart, Sam Spink, Bayley Kuenzle, Kurtley Beale

RESERVES: Ben Funnell, Marley Pearce, Tiaan Tauakipulu, Izack Rodda, Michael Wells, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Max Burey, Henry O’Donnell

CRUSADERS (1-15): Joe Moody, Brodie McAlister, Owen Franks, Quinten Strange, Jamie Hannah, Ethan Blackadder, Tom Christie (c), Christian Lio-Willie, Mitch Drummond, Riley Hohepa, Macca Springer, Dallas McLeod, Levi Aumua, Sevu Reece, Chay Fihaki

RESERVES: George Bell, George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Dominic Gardiner, Cullen Grace, Noah Hotham, Rivez Reihana, Ryan Crotty

Key match-up: Kurtley Beale’s Super Rugby return at fullback against Crusaders rising star Chay Fihaki will be one to watch.

NZR+ Expert Tipsters call: Western Force by 1.

Think you know more than our expert? Make your predictions on each clash with the NZR+ Play Predictor HERE.

Critical matchups on the cards 🤝

Which game are you looking forward to most this weekend?#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/Oev87spONc

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 16, 2024

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