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Super Rugby Aotearoa: Round Two Preview

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A Glance at This Week’s Super Rugby Aotearoa Fixtures

 

Round one of Super Rugby Aotearoa saw the Highlanders beat the Chiefs with a last-gasp drop goal by Bryn Gatland. At a sold-out Eden Park, the Blues came out on top in a try-fest against the Hurricanes.

This weekend’s introduction of reigning Super Rugby champions, the Crusaders, will mean all teams have played. The Crusaders have won Super Rugby a record ten times and are the most successful professional club side in the world.

 

Chiefs v Blues: Saturday 20th June, 08:05 (BST)

This week it is the turn of the Chiefs to host the Blues as Warren Gatland’s side hope to bounce back from last week’s defeat. The home side make two changes as Naitoa Ah Kuoi replaces Mitch Brown in the engine room.

Perhaps more notable is the return of Aaron Cruden to the starting XV. The former Montpellier man won the Super Rugby title in two consecutive seasons with the Chiefs and replaces Kaleb Trask at fly-half.

The Chiefs will host the Blues in Waikato for round two

For the Blues, Dalton Papalii, who impressed with a try-scoring appearance off the bench, replaces the injured Blake Gibson at openside flanker. On the blindside Akira Ioane, brother of All-Black Rieko, replaces Tom Robinson who is also ruled out through injury.

Otere Black, who ran the game so well against the Hurricanes, remains at fly-half despite Beauden Barrett and Dan Carter being in the squad. Barrett instead starts at fullback for the second game of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season.

 

Hurricanes v Crusaders: Sunday 21st June, 04:35 (BST)

In the final game of Super Rugby round two, the Hurricanes return home after a painful loss to the Blues and will be hoping to bounce back. Standing between them and victory, however, is a dominant Crusaders team featuring eight All-Blacks. The Crusaders will be without their captain, Scott Barrett, for their trip to Wellington but have announced a very strong line-up.

In the pack, Codie Taylor will face his rival for the All-Blacks hooker spot, Dane Coles, as both men captain their sides. Sam Whitelock and Ardie Savea also make returns to the starting XV for their respective teams. The only other change for the Hurricanes is Vaea Fifita replacing Scott Scrafton in the second row.

The Hurricanes have announced the same backline that scored three tries in Auckland, with TJ Perenara looking to get them firing from the base. The ‘Canes will have a significant job on their hands containing this Crusaders’ backline. The Christchurch side will put out an irresistible combination featuring Richie Mo’unga, Sevu Reece and George Bridge, as well as the best mullet in world rugby, Jack Goodhue.

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Super Rugby Aotearoa: Round Two Preview’. Who are you backing to win this weekend? Let us know!

 

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Eddie is currently studying for his BA in French at Bristol University. He has played rugby since a young age, playing a variety of positions in the back line. His passionate interest in sport, especially rugby, has encouraged him to transfer it to journalism, working with his university paper, Epigram, in addition to his role with Sporting Ferret.

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