Super Rugby Round 9 in an unusual round as it has eight matches but three are on Friday and there are five matches on Saturday.
There are no Sunday matches this weekend and the Blues and Reds have the bye.
Here we list the teams as they are released and preview the eight upcoming matches.
Hurricanes v Brumbies Super Rugby Preview
Current Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes have name Brad Shields as their captain for the first time in this Friday’s match against the Brumbies.
Friday’s match will be the tenth time the Hurricanes have played at McLean Park, but the first time against the Australian Conference leading Brumbies.
Hooker Josh Mann-Rea has sufficiently recovered from a knee injury to reclaim the number 2 jersey from Robbie Abel, whilst left winger James Dargaville is back in the run-on team in place of Tom Banks.
In previous matches in Napier, the Hurricanes have won six and lost three.
In total the Hurricanes have played the Brumbies 22 times for a record of nine wins and 13 losses. The teams have played ten times on New Zealand soil, all in Wellington, splitting those matches five wins a piece.
Last time the club’s met was in Canberra in the opening round of the 2016 season with the home side winning 52-10.
Average score: Hurricanes 26 Brumbies 27
Last five results
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 Hurricanes v Brumbies 10-52 Canberra
Sat, 27 Jun 2015 Semi Hurricanes v Brumbies 29-9 Wellington
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 Hurricanes v Brumbies 21-29 Wellington
Fri, 31 May 2013 Hurricanes v Brumbies 23-30 Canberra
Fri, 18 May 2012 Hurricanes v Brumbies 25-37 Wellington
Hurricanes overall record against the Brumbies
Played 22 , Wins 9 , Losses 13, Draws 0
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1:Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2:Angus Mabey
TMO : Shane McDermott
Jordie Barrett, Cory Jane, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi; Blade Thomson, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields (c), Vaea Fifita, Mark Abbott, Jeffery To’omaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Ben May.
Replacements : Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Mike Kainga, James Blackwell, Callum Gibbins, TJ Perenara, Otere Black, Ben Lam.
15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Nigel Ah Wong
Waratahs v Kings Super Rugby Preview
2014 Super Rugby champions the Waratahs host the Southern Kings in the second match in Round 9 and they will be hoping for their third win in eight matches.
The Waratahs have played seven matches this season but as they have only won two matches to date they are second last in the Australian conference.
The Southern Kings have played 7 matches as well and they have won just one match but have shown signs of improvement. A victory this week may be too much to ask though as the Kings are at the end of a three match tour and have never beaten the Sydney side.
The Waratahs have only played the Southern Kings once and that match was won 72-10 in 2013 and was in Port Elizabeth.
Average score: Waratahs 72 Southern Kings 10
Sat, 04 May 2013 Waratahs v Kings 72-10 Port Elizabeth
Waratahs overall record against the Kings
Played 1 , Wins 1, Losses 0 , Draws 0
Referee: Rohann Hoffmann
Assistant Ref 1:Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: James Leckie
TMO : Ian Smith
15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 David McDuling, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Paddy Ryan
Replacements :16. Hugh Roach, 17. Angus Ta’avao, 18. David Lolohea, 19. Dean Mumm, 20. Jed Holloway, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Bryce Hegarty, 23. Harry Jones
15. Masixole Banda,14. Wandile Mjekevu,13. Berton Klaasen,12. Luzuko Vulindlu,11. Makazole Mapimpi,10. Lionel Cronje (c),9. Louis Schreuder,8. Andisa Ntsila,7. Tyler Paul,6. Chris Cloete,5. Wilhelm van der Sluys,4. Irne Herbst,3. Ross Geldenhuys,2.Michael Willemse,1. Justin Forwood,
Replacements : 16. Kurt Haupt, 17. Schalk van der Merwe, 18. Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19. Mzwanele Zito, 20. Ruaan Lerm/Martin Bezuidenhout, 21. Johan Steyn, 22. Nicolaas “Stokkies” Hanekom, 23. Pieter-Steyn de Wet.
Lions v Jaguares Super Rugby Preview
South Africa’s leading Super Rugby side the Lions play the last of three matches on Friday and they host Argentina’s Jaguares in Johannesburg.
The Lions and Jaguares have played each other three times over the last two years and the Lions have won just once. That match was at home in Johannesburg which is also where this week’s match is.
Both teams have played seven matches each in the Africa 2 Conference and the Lions have won six while the Jaguares have won four. The Jaguares enjoyed some early form this season but they are now on a two match losing streak while the Lions have won their last four matches.
Average score: Lions 33 Jaguares 31
Last three results
Sat, 11 Mar 2017 Lions v Jaguares 24-36 Buenos Aires
Sat, 16 Jul 2016 Lions v Jaguares 22-34 Buenos Aires
Sat, 21 May 2016 Lions v Jaguares 52-24 Johannesburg
Lions overall record against the Jaguares
Played 3 , Wins 1, Losses 2, Draws 0
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1:Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 2:AJ Jacobs
TMO :Willie Vos
1 Corné Fourie,2 Akker van der Merwe,3 Johannes Jonker,4 Andries Fourie,5 Franco Mostert,6 Jaco Kriel,7 Ruan Ackermann,8 Warren Whiteley ©,9 Ross Cronjé,10 Elton Jantjies,11 Courtnall Skosan,12 Harold Vorster,13 Lionel Mapoe,14 Madosh Tambwe,15 Andries Coetzee
Replacements : 16 Malcolm Marx,17 Jacques van Rooyen,18 Ruan Dreyer,19 Lourens Erasmus,20 Kwagga Smith,21 Faf de Klerk,22 Jacques Nel,23 Sylvian Ma
15 Ramiro Moyano, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Bautista Ezcurra, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Felipe Ezcurra, 8 Benjamín Macome, 7 Rodrigo Baez, 6 Tomás Lezana, 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (c), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz
Replacements: 16 Roberto Tejerizo, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Ignacio Larrague, 20 Pablo Matera, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 23 Emiliano Boffelli.
Highlanders v Sunwolves Super Rugby Preview
2015 Super Rugby champions the Highlanders will play their first ever match against Japanese side the Sunwolves this weekend in Round 9.
The Highlanders and Sunwolves missed each other last year so this will be the first clash between the sides. The Highlanders have played seven matches this season and they have won four.
They had an early season wobble but have now won three matches in a row.
The Sunwolves have played 7 matches and have won 1. They beat the Bulls in Round 7 but were thumped by the Crusaders last weekend.
The Highlanders have named a strong side that features Waisake Naholo who returns from injury.
Average score: N/A
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Cam Stone
TMO : Glenn Newman
1. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Siate Tokolahi , 4. Alex Ainley , 5. Joe Wheeler , 6. Liam Squire , 7. Elliot Dixon , 8. Luke Whitelock , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Marty Banks , 11. Tevita Li , 12. Malakai Fekitoa , 13. Matt Faddes , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith (c)
Replacements : 16. Greg Pleasants-Tate , 17. Aki Seiuli , 18. Siosuia Halanukonuka , 19. Tom Franklin , 20. Gareth Evans , 21. Josh Renton , 22. Teihorangi Walden , 23. Sio Tomkinson
15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 William Tupou, 12 Timothy Lafaele, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Yuhimaru Mimura, 6 Edward Quirk (c), 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Keita Inagaki
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 21 Yuki Yatomi, 22 Hayden Cripps, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi
Crusaders v Stormers Super Rugby Preview
Seven time champions the Crusaders are the only team who remain unbeaten going into round 9 and this week they face the Stormers.
At the start of last week only the Crusaders and Stormers were unbeaten but the Cape Town side fell to the Lions in Round 8.
The Crusaders are Super Rugby’s overall leaders while the Stormers are third overall because they top the Africa 1 Conference.
The Crusaders have played the Stormers 19 times in Super rugby and they have won 15 matches. The last five matches have all been won by the Crusaders.
Average score: Crusaders 28 Stormers 20
Last five results
Sat, 08 Mar 2014 Crusaders v Stormers 14-13 Christchurch
Sat, 30 Mar 2013 Crusaders v Stormers 19-14 Cape Town
Sat, 14 Apr 2012 Crusaders v Stormers 31-24 Christchurch
Sat, 02 Jul 2011 Semi Crusaders v Stormers 29-10 Cape Town
Sat, 07 May 2011 Crusaders v Stormers 20-14 Cape Town
Crusaders overall record against the Stormers
Played 19 , Wins 15, Losses 4 , Draws 0
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1:Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2:James Doleman
TMO : Aaron Paterson
1. Joe Moody , 2. Codie Taylor , 3. Owen Franks, 4. Scott Barrett , 5. Sam Whitelock (C), 6. Jordan Taufua, 7. Matt Todd (VC), 8. Kieran Read, 9. Mitchell Drummond , 10.Richie Mo’unga, 11. George Bridge , 12. Ryan Crotty (VC) , 13. Jack Goodhue, 14. Seta Tamanivalu, 15. David Havili
Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell, 17. Wyatt Crockett , 18. Michael Alaalatoa, 19. Luke Romano , 20. Pete Samu, 21. Bryn Hall, 22. Mitchell Hunt , 23. Manasa
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Cobus Wiese, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Dan Kriel.
Force v Chiefs Super Rugby Preview
The Western Force host two time Super Rugby champions the Chiefs this weekend as they head back to Hamilton after touring South Africa.
The Force have played the Chiefs 10 times in Super Rugby and they have won two matches and lost eight.Both of the Force’s wins happened in Perth where the teams have met five times.
The Force have played 6 Super Rugby matches so far this season and they have won two. The Chiefs have played seven and won six.
Both teams lost in Round 7 but got back to winning ways in Round 8.
Average score: Force 19 Chiefs 32
Last five results
Sat, 26 Mar 2016 Force v Chiefs 10-53 Hamilton
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 Force v Chiefs 27-35 Hamilton
Sat, 22 Mar 2014 Force v Chiefs 18-15 Perth
Fri, 10 May 2013 Force v Chiefs 21-22 Pukekohe
Fri, 06 Apr 2012 Force v Chiefs 12-20 Perth
Force overall record against the Chiefs
Played 10 , Wins 2 , Losses 8, Draws 0
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1:Will Houston
Assistant Ref 2:Graham Cooper
TMO :Damien Mitchelmore
1. Ben Daley , 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau , 3. Tetera Faulkner , 4. Lewis Carmichael* , 5. Ross Haylett-Petty , 6. Isi Naisarani , 7. Matt Hodgson (capt) , 8. Richard Hardwick , 9. Ian Prior , 10. Luke Burton , 11. Luke Morahan , 12. Bill Meakes , 13. Marcel Brache , 14. Curtis Rona , 15. Dane Haylett-Petty
Replacements : 16. Heath Tessmann , 17. Francois Van Wyk , 18. Pek Cowan , 19. Onehunga Havilli , 20. Brynard Stander , 21. Mitch Short** , 22. Jono Lance , 23. Alex Newsome
*Denotes Super Rugby Debut
**Potential Super Rugby Debut
1. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 2. Brayden Mitchell, 3. Atu Moli , 4. Dominic Bird, 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Liam Messam , 7. Sam Cane , 8. Michael Leitch , 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10. Aaron Cruden (co-captain) , 11. James Lowe, 12. Anton Lienert-Brown , 13. Sam McNicol , 14. Shaun Stevenson , 15. Damian McKenzie
Replacements : 16. Hika Elliot , 17. Aidan Ross** 18. Sosefo Kautai , 19. Taleni Seu, 20. Lachlan Boshier , 21. Finlay Christie , 22. Stephen Donald , 23. Toni Pulu
**denotes Super Rugby debut
Bulls v Cheetahs Super Rugby Preview
Three time Super Rugby champions the Bulls host local rivals the Cheetahs in this ninth round South African derby clash.
The Bulls and the Cheetahs have played each other 18 times in Super Rugby and the Bulls have won all but three matches.
While the Cheetahs won the last match between the sides they have only won once in Pretoria and that was in 2015.
This season the Bulls and the Cheetahs have both played seven matches and won just two. The Bulls on ten points lead the Cheetahs on 9 points.
Average score: Bulls 33 Cheetahs 23
Last five results
Sat, 04 Mar 2017 Bulls v Cheetahs 28-34 Bloemfontein
Sat, 16 Jul 2016 Bulls v Cheetahs 43-17 Bloemfontein
Sat, 02 Apr 2016 Bulls v Cheetahs 23-18 Pretoria
Sat, 13 Jun 2015 Bulls v Cheetahs 29-42 Pretoria
Sat, 07 Mar 2015 Bulls v Cheetahs 39-20 Bloemfontein
Bulls overall record against the Cheetahs
Played 18, Wins 15, Losses 3 , Draws 0
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1:Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2:AJ Jacobs
TMO : Willie Vos
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Nick de Jager, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Marnus Schoeman/Jacques Potgieter, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Franco Naude.
Charles Marais,Torsten van Jaarsveld,Johan Coetzee,Armandt Koster,Carl Wegner,Paul Schoeman,Oupa Mohoje,Henco Venter,Shaun Venter,Niel Marais,Raymond Rhule,Nico Lee,Francois Venter (c ),William Small-Smith,Clayton Blommetjies,
Replacements : Elandré Huggett,Ox Nche,Tom Botha,Francois Uys,Niell Jordaan,Uzair Cassiem,Tian Meyer,Fred Zeilinga,
Sharks v Rebels Super Rugby Preview
Durban Super Rugby franchise the Sharks host the final match of Super Rugby Round 9 and they play Melbourne’s Rebels.
The Rebels have had a difficult season to date but last week picked up their first win of the season by beating Australian conference leaders the Brumbies.
The Sharks have played seven matches and won five. The Rebels have played six and won one.
The Sharks have played the Rebels four times in Super Rugby and they have yet to lose a match.
Average score: Sharks 36 Rebels 19
Last five results
Fri, 29 May 2015 Sharks v Rebels 25-21 Durban
Fri, 02 May 2014 Sharks v Rebels 22-16 Melbourne
Sat, 23 Mar 2013 Sharks v Rebels 64-7 Durban
Fri, 11 Mar 2011 Sharks v Rebels 34-32 Melbourne
Sharks overall record against the Rebels
Played 4, Wins 4, Losses 0, Draws 0
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1:Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 2:Stuart Berry
TMO : Marius Jonker
15. Rhyno Smith,14. Kobus van Wyk,13. Lukhanyo Am,12. Andre Esterhuizen,11. Lwazi Mvovo (v/c),10. Curwin Bosch,9. Cobus Reinach,8. Daniel du Preez,7. Philip van der Walt,6. Tera Mtembu (c),5. Stephan Lewies,4. Etienne Oosthuizen,3. Coenie Oosthuizen,2. Franco Marais,1. Beast Mtawarira,
Replacements:16. Chiliboy Ralepelle,17. Thomas du Toit,18. Lourens Adriaanse,19. Ruan Botha,20. Jacques Vermeulen,21. Michael Claassens,22. Benhard Janse van Rensburg,23. Jeremy Ward.
1. Fereti Sa’aga,2. Siliva Siliva ,3. Tyrel Lomax ,4. Steve Cummins ,5. Culum Retallick ,6. Jake Schatz ,7. Will Miller^* ,8. Amanaki Mafi ,9. Nic Stirzaker (Captain) ,10. Jack Debreczeni ,11. Marika Koroibete ,12. Mitch Inman , 13. Tom English ,14. Sefa Naivalu , 15. Reece Hodge
Replacements :James Hanson ,17. Laurie Weeks , 18. Tom Moloney , 19. Esei Haangana*^ ,20. Hugh Sinclair*^ ,21. Mick Snowden ,22. Jackson Garden-Bachop ,23. Ben Volavola ,
^Super Rugby debut