round seven teams, week 7 news, kick off times, how to watch

Queensland coach Brad Thorn has made two bomb selections, dropping James O’Connor to the bench against the Brumbies and dropping Suliasi Vunivalu from the 23 altogether.

And exciting hooker Billy Pollard is on the Brumbies bench for the first time in 2023, alongside returning Wallabies local Darcy Swain.

Read on for all the latest Super Rugby Pacific team news.

:Watch the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific and Super W seasons on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. All games are broadcast free of advertising, live and on demand

Fainga’anuku keeps scoring goals

CRUSADERS vs MOANA PASIFIKA in Christchurch, Friday 17:05 AEST

All Blacks star Richie Mounga will play his 100th game for the Crusaders in what will be his final season for the club before signing a lucrative three-year deal with Toshiba Brave Lupus in Japan.

“He’s special to us and to me personally,” Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said.

“What he has done for the Crusaders is incredible on and off the pitch.

“I’ve watched him play club rugby, I’ve watched him play for his beloved Linwood and he seems to play touch rugby for them – the amount of time and skill he’s had, the courage and all the insolence.

“But he’s a winner. He knows how to win, he knows how to close games. He knows how to be bold in the big moments.”

Crusaders (15-1). Fergus Burke, Will Galter, Lester Faingaanuku, Jack Goodhue, Makkah Springer, Richie Mounga, Mitchell Drummond, Christian Leo-Willie, Corey Callow, Sione Havili-Talitui, Dominic Gardiner, Quinten Strange, Tamaiti Williams, Cody Taylor (c), Joe Moody

Reserves. Brodie McAllister, Finlay Brewis, Seb Calder, Jamie Hannah, Tom Christie, Willie Heinz, David Havili, Melanie Nanai

MOANA PACIFICA (15-1). William Havili, Timotsi Tawatawanawai, Levi Aumua, Danny Toala, Neria Fomai, Lincoln McClatchy, Ereatara Enari, Solomon Funaki (c), Alamanda Motuga, Miracle Failagi, Samuel Slade, Michael Curry, Joe Apikotoa, Samuel Lindwell Ezmutoa

Reserves. Luther Tolai, Abraham Paul, Isi Tuungafasi, Mike McKee, Jonah Mau, Manu Paea, D’Angelo Leila, Fine Inisi

Referee. James Dolman

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Vunivalu is back in scoring form

REDS vs BRUMBIES in Brisbane, Friday 7.35pm AEST

Queensland coach Brad Thorn has made two bomb selections, dropping James O’Connor to the bench against the Brumbies and dropping Suliasi Vunivalu from the 23 altogether.

Youngster Lawson Creighton will start at number 10 ahead of O’Connor, while Filippo Daugunu replaces Fijian Vunivalu on the wing.

That’s as Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has tapped the former NRL star to start his 33-man training camp on the Gold Coast later this month.

“Contradiction is a big part of choice,” Jones told reporters.

“You always try to find players who you think can be world class.

NEW PODCAST. Sean Maloney, Morgan Turinu and Stephen Hoyles analyze Eddie Jones’ first intriguing Wallabies team and the Brumbies-Waratahs derby for years.

“And I’ve seen Woolivaloo play for the Melbourne Storm. I’ve seen him play in the NRL. I’ve seen bits of him playing for Australia A and bits of what he’s done for Queensland.

“There are a lot of holes in his game right now. But it’s our job as coaches to help him fill in the gaps. So if you have livestock in training, that might help him.”

Meanwhile, the Brumbies have named an unchanged starting line-up in what will be Cadairne Neville’s 100th Super Rugby appearance.

Exciting sensation Billy Pollard is on the bench for the first time this season alongside returning Wallabies lock Darcy Swain.

REDS (15-1). Jock Campbell, Jordan Petaya, Josh Fluke, Isaac Henry, Filippo Daugunu, Lawson Creighton, Tate McDermott (co), Harry Wilson, Fraser McWright, Liam Wright (co), Seru Uru, Angus Blyth, Francis Sula-Siaosi, Matt Feisler, Penny Rawai

Reserves. Richie Asiata, Dane Zander, Zane Nongore, Ryan Smith, Jake Upfield, Kalani Thomas, James O’Connor, Taj Annan

BRUMBIES (15-1). Tom Wright, Andy Muirhead, Len Ikitau, Tamati Tua, Corey Toole, Noah Lolesio, Nick White, Pete Samu, Rory Scott, Rob Valletini, Cadairne Neville, Nick Frost, Alan Alalatoa (c), Lachlan Lonergan, James Slipper

Reserves. Billy Pollard, Blake Shoop, Rhys van Neck, Darcy Swain, Luke Rymer, Ryan Lonergan, Jack Debrecen, Ben O’Donnell

Referee. Ben O’Keefe

Storms dominate the Force

HIGHLANDERS vs HURICANES in Dunedin, Saturday 5:05pm AEST

Aidan Morgan will return to the Hurricanes No.10 jersey on Saturday after suffering concussion in round four against the Waratahs.

Morgan replaces Brett Cameron, who injured his leg in last weekend’s win against the Force at Palmerston North.

Captain Ardi Savea returns to No.8 after the All Blacks have the weekend off.

On the bench, Peter Umaga-Jensen will make his first start this season after undergoing shoulder reconstruction surgery.

“Pete has worked hard to get back on the field and we’re really excited to see him back on the field,” Hurricanes coach Jason Holland said.

“He’s a good nick and will cover 12 and 13 off the bench.”

Umaga-Jensen’s twin brother, Thomas, has been named in the number 12 starting line-up for the Highlanders.

Star midfielder Aaron Smith was unavailable for selection as he supports his family who are dealing with the illness.

HIGHLANDERS (15-1). Sam Gilbert, Moses Dawai, Fetuli Paea, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Jonah Lowe, Mitch Hunt, Folau Fakatawa, Hugh Renton, Billy Harmon (c), Shannon Frizzell, Josh Dixon, Pari Pari Parkinson, Jermaine de Ainslie, Andrew Macalio, Et . Grotto

ReservesLenny Apisai, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Saula Mau, Max Hicks, Sean Whitty, James Arscott, Scott Gregory, Marino Michael-Tou

HURRICANES (15-1). Josh Murby, Julian Savea, Billy Proctor, Jordy Barrett, Salesi Rayasi, Aidan Morgan, Cameron Roygaard, Ardi Savea (c), Du Plessis Kyriefi, Braden Iose, Isaiah Walker-Lewer, James Blackwell, Tyrell Lomax, Dane Coles, Numia

Reserves. Asafo Aumua, Puri Rackete-Stones, Owen Franks, T.K.

Referee. Damon Murphy

Barrett blooper worth the blues

REBELS vs BLUES in Melbourne, Saturday 19:35 AEST

Wallabies star Andrew Callaway will make his first start of the season at outside center against the Blues on Saturday.

Callaway replaces Stacey Ealy in midfield, while Rhys Hodge moves to inside center.

The Rebels lost to Fiji’s Drua in Suva last weekend

“It’s one of the toughest competitions in the world and one of the challenges is overcoming travel and replicating your performance week after week and that’s what we strive to do,” Hodge said.

“We’ve shown some really positive signs in the early stages of the season and there’s been a lot of growth in the squad from a number of our young players.

“This block going either side of the bye is really important in terms of getting results and building offensively and defensively.

“We have to stick to our game and continue to buy into the style we want to play and improve and grow as a team.”

Rebels (15-1).Joe Pincus, Lachie Anderson, Andrew Callaway, Rhys Hodge, Monty Ioan, Carter Gordon, Ryan Lawrence, Violini Equasi, Brad Wilkin (c), Josh Kemeny, Trevor Hosea, Josh Canham, Pon Faamausili, Alex Maffei, Qabus Eloff

ReservesJordan Wellese, Matt Gibbon, Sam Talakai, Angelo Smith, Tuaina Tai Tualima, James Tuttle, Nick Joste, Lucas Ripley

Blue (15-1).Zarn Sullivan, Mark Telea, Rieko Ioan, Harry Plummer, Cale Clarke, Boden Barrett, Finley Christie, Anton Segner, Dalton Papali (c), Adrian Choate, Sam Darry, Patrick Tuipulotu, Nepo Laulala, Ricky Riccitelli, Jordan Leigh

Reserves. Soan Wikena, Ofa Tungafasi, James Leigh, Cameron Suafoa, Tom Robinson, Sam Nock, Corey Evans, Caleb Tangitau

Referee. Reuben Kee

Chiefs rock the Blues with a first-minute try


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