Super Rugby Round 8 this weekend has seven matches with one on Friday and six on Saturday. There are no Sunday matches this weekend.
Here we list the teams as they are released and preview the seven upcoming matches.
The Force, Highlanders, Sharks and the Waratahs have the bye.
Crusaders v Sunwolves Super Rugby Preview
The Crusaders will get their first taste of Japanese Super Rugby this weekend as although the Sunwolves have been in Super Rugby for over a year these two teams have never met.
The Crusaders had a bye last week so they will be rested while the Sunwolves returned from Singapore for a quick stop in Japan where they beat the Bulls and then had to fly to New Zealand. That amount of travel would impact even the best of Super Rugby teams.
The Crusaders are one of just two teams that are unbeaten this season (along with the Stormers) and they have played six matches and won all six. The Sunwolves have played six and won just one.
Only the staunchest of Sunwolves fans will be predicting a victory for the Japanese side this weekend. The Crusaders should win this comfortably and finish the round on top of the standings.
Average score: N/A
No past results
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1:Will Houston
Assistant Ref 2:Cam Stone
TMO : Glenn Newman
1. Wyatt Crockett ,2. Ben Funnell,3. Michael Alaalatoa,4. Luke Romano ,5. Sam Whitelock (C),6. Pete Samu,7. Matt Todd (VC),8. Kieran Read,9. Mitchell Drummond ,10.Richie Mo’unga,11. Manasa Mataele,12. Tim Bateman ,13. Jack Goodhue,14. Seta Tamanivalu,15. David Havili
Replacements : 16. Andrew Makalio ,17. Joe Moody ,18. Oliver Jager,19. Quinten Strange ,20. Whetu Douglas ,21. Leon Fukofuka,22. Marty McKenzie ,23. George Bridge
15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Teruya Goto, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 6 Ed Quirk, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Takeshi Kizu, 1 Keita Inagaki
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Yuhimaru Mimura, 21 Yuki Yatomi, 22 William Tupou, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi
Reds v Southern Kings Super Rugby Preview
The second match in Round 8 this weekend is another first for Super Rugby as the Reds have never played the Southern Kings even though the Kings were in Super Rugby last year and in 2013.
Both of these teams have been struggling this season and they have both won one match each. The Reds have one win from 7 matches while the Kings have one win from six.
Although the Kings are a place above the Reds in the standings the Reds will have home advantage and more experience so they should win by around two tries.
Average score: N/A
No past results
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant Ref 1:Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2:Damon Murphy
TMO : Damien Mitchelmore
1. Sef Fa’agase , 2. Alex Mafi,(run-on debut) 3. Sam Talakai, 4. Rob Simmons , 5. Lukhan Tui , 6. Hendrik Tui , 7. George Smith ,(150th Super Rugby cap) 8. Scott Higginbotham , 9. James Tuttle, 10. Quade Cooper , 11. Eto Nabuli , 12. Duncan Paia’aua , 13. Samu Kerevi (C) , 14. Izaia Perese, 15. Karmichael Hunt
Replacements : 16. Andrew Ready , 17. Kirwan Sanday, 18. Taniela Tupou , 19. Kane Douglas , 20. Adam Korczyk , 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Hamish Stewart , 23. Chris Kuridrani
15. Masixole Banda, 14. Yaw Penxe, 13. Berton Klaasen ,12. Luzuko Vulindlu, 11. Makazole Mapimpi ,10. Lionel Cronje (c) ,9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Ruaan Lerm ,7. Tyler Paul , 6. Chris Cloete ,5. Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4. Mzwanele Zito ,3. Justin Forwood ,2. Michael Willemse ,1. Chris Heiberg ,
Replacements :16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Schalk van der Merwe, 18. Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19. Irne Herbst, 20. Andisa Ntsila, 21. Johan Steyn, 22. Wandile Mjekevu, 23. Pieter-Steyn de Wet.
Blues v Hurricanes Super Rugby Preview
Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes will be hoping for their sixth win this season and their fifth consecutive victory over the Blues in this contest.
The Hurricanes have beaten the Blues in the last four matches between the sides as the last Blues victory was in May 2014.
The Blues have played the Hurricanes 14 times in Auckland and they have won 8 matches and lost six.
The Hurricanes have played six matches and won five this season while the Blues have played 7 and won three. Although the Blues will have home advantage the Hurricanes should win by more than a converted try.
Average score: Blues 27 Hurricanes 25
Last five results
Sat, 02 Jul 2016 Blues v Hurricanes 27-37 Wellington
Fri, 11 Mar 2016 Blues v Hurricanes 19-23 Auckland
Sat, 23 May 2015 Blues v Hurricanes 5-29 Auckland
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 Blues v Hurricanes 23-30 Palmerston North
Sat, 31 May 2014 Blues v Hurricanes 37-24 Auckland
Blues overall record against the Hurricanes
Played 27, Wins 14 , Losses 12, Draws 1
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 2:Paul Williams
TMO : Ben Skeen
1 Pauliasi Manu, 2 James Parsons ©, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5 Scott Scrafton, 6 Jerome Kaino, 7 Blake Gibson, 8 Steven Luatua; 9 Augustine Pulu, 10 Piers Francis, 11 Melani Nanai, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Rieko Ioane, 14 Matt Duffie, 15 Michael Collins.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 George Moala.
15 Jordie Barrett , 14 Wes Goosen , 13 Vince Aso , 12 Ngani Laumape , 11 Julian Savea , 10 Beauden Barrett , 9 TJ Perenara (c) , 8 Ardie Savea , 7 Callum Gibbins , 6 Brad Shields , 5 Michael Fatialofa , 4 Mark Abbott , 3 Jeffery To’omaga-Allen , 2 Ricky Riccitelli , 1 Ben May
Replacements : 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Cory Jane
Rebels v Brumbies Super Rugby Preview
The second match on Australian Super Rugby soil in Round 8 on Saturday is in Melbourne where the Rebels host the Brumbies.
The Rebels are in last place overall while the Brumbies are the Australian Conference leaders and as a result are in fourth place overall.
The Brumbies have played six matches and won three while the Rebels have yet to win a match after playing five matches.
It will have been a tough week for the Rebels as they found out on Monday that they could be cut from Super Rugby next season. That could impact the players mentally which could make this a one sided contest.
The Rebels have played the Brumbies 11 times since 2011 and they have won three matches. The teams have met six times in Melbourne and the Rebels have won twice and lost four times at home.
Average score: Rebels 17 Brumbies 28
Last five results
Fri, 13 May 2016 Rebels v Brumbies 22-30 Melbourne
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 Rebels v Brumbies 13-8 Canberra
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 Rebels v Brumbies 15-20 Melbourne
Sat, 31 May 2014 Rebels v Brumbies 10-37 Canberra
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 Rebels v Brumbies 32-24 Melbourne
Rebels overall record against the Brumbies
Played 11 , Wins 3 , Losses 8 , Draws 0
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1:Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2:Rohan Hoffmann
TMO :George Ayoub
1. Fereti Sa’aga ,2. James Hanson ,3. Laurie Weeks ,4. Steve Cummins ,5. Dominic Day ,6. Lopeti Timani ,7. Colby Fainga’a ,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 : 16. Siliva Siliva , 17. Tom Moloney ,18. Tyrel Lomax ,19. Culum Retallick ,20. Hugh Sinclair^* ,21. Mick Snowden ,22. Jackson Garden-Bachop ,23. Ben Volavola ,
^Super Rugby debut
1. .Scott SIO , 2. Robbie ABEL , 3. Allan ALAALATOA , 4. Rory ARNOLD , 5. Sam CARTER (c) , 6. Scott FARDY , 7. Chris ALCOCK , 8. Jarrad BUTLER , 9. Joe POWELL , 10. Wharenui HAWERA , 11. Tom BANKS , 12. Andrew SMITH , 13. Tevita KURIDRANI , 14. Henry SPEIGHT , 15. Aidan TOUA
Replacements:16. Saia FAINGA’A , 17. Nic MAYHEW , 18. Ben ALEXANDER , 19. Blake ENEVER , 20. Tom STANIFORTH , 21. Tom CUSACK , 22. De Wet ROOS , 23. Jordan JACKSON-HOPE
Cheetahs v Chiefs Super Rugby Preview
The Bloemfontein based Cheetahs face a tough challenge this weekend as they need to put the threat of being cut from Super Rugby behind them so they can focus on trying to beat a team they have never been able to.
The Cheetahs have played the Chiefs nine times since 2006 and although they have earned three draws the Cheetahs have never beaten the Hamilton side. On home soil the Cheetahs have played four matches, lost two and drawn two.
This season the Cheetahs have played six matches and won two while the Chiefs have played six and won five. Both teams lost their matches last week so they will be wanting to turn things around.
The Chiefs have earned bonus points from scoring tries in four of their five matches so far while the Cheetahs have yet to earn a try bonus point.
Average score: Cheetahs 24 Chiefs 33
Last five results
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 Cheetahs v Chiefs 27-37 Hamilton
Sat, 05 Apr 2014 Cheetahs v Chiefs 43-43 Bloemfontein
Sat, 02 Mar 2013 Cheetahs v Chiefs 3-45 Hamilton
Sat, 14 Apr 2012 Cheetahs v Chiefs 33-39 Bloemfontein
Fri, 23 Apr 2010 Cheetahs v Chiefs 25-25 Hamilton
Cheetahs overall record against the Chiefs
Played 9 , Wins 0, Losses 6, Draws 3
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Ref 1:Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2:Lourens van der Merwe
TMO : Johan Greeff
Ox Nche,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 ),Sergeal Petersen,Clayton Blommetjies
Replacements : Elandré Huggett,Charles Marais,Tom Botha,Francois Uys,Niell Jordaan,Junior Pokomela / Luther Obi,Tian Meyer,Fred Zeilinga
1.Kane Hames,2.Brayden Mitchell,3.Atu Moli ,4.Taleni Seu ,5.Brodie Retallick ,6.Mitchell Brown,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.Toni Pulu ,15.Damian McKenzie ,
Replacements:16.Hika Elliot ,17.Siegfried Fisi’ihoi ,18.Sosefo Kautai,19.Dominic Bird ,20.Liam Messam ,21.Finlay Christie,22.Alex Nankivell,23.Shaun Stevenson
Stormers v Lions Super Rugby Preview
The Stormers currently lead the Super Rugby standings but they face the Lions who have been the best SA Super rugby side over the last two seasons.
The Stormers are one of two teams who are unbeaten so far and have played six matches. The Lions have played six as well and they have won five.
The Stormers have played the Lions 22 times in Super rugby and they have won 15 matches and drawn one. That means the Lions have only beaten the Stormers six times in almost 20 years.
Last year the Stormers played the Lions just once and that match was won by the Lions.
Last week the Stormers beat the Chiefs in Cape Town while the Lions had a bye after being tested by the Sharks.
Average score: Stormers 24 Lions 20
Last five results
Sat, 16 Apr 2016 Stormers v Lions 22-29 Johannesburg
Sat, 06 Jun 2015 Stormers v Lions 19-19 Cape Town
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 Stormers v Lions 22-19 Johannesburg
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 Stormers v Lions 18-3 Cape Town
Sat, 22 Feb 2014 Stormers v Lions 10-34 Johannesburg
Stormers overall record against the Lions
Played 22, Wins 15 , Losses 6, Draws 1
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 2:Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO : Shaun Veldsman
15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Johan du Toit (Super Rugby debut), 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Dan Kriel.
1.Jacques v Rooyen, 2. Malcolm Marx, 3. Ruan Dreyer,4. Andries Ferreira,5. Franco Mostert,6. Jaco Kriel,7. Ruan Ackermann,8. Warren Whiteley ©,9. Ross Cronje,10. Elton Jantjies,11. Courtnal Skosan,12. Rohan Jv Rensburg,13. Lionel Mapoe,14. Madosh Tambwe,15. Andries Coetzee
Replacements: 16. Robbie Coetzee,17. Corne Fourie,18. Johannes Jonker,19. Lourens Erasmus,20. Kwagga Smith,21. Faf de Klerk,22. Harold Vorster,23. Sylvian Mahuza,
Bulls v Jaguares Super Rugby Preview
The Bulls return home from their tour of New Zealand and Japan to host Argentina’s Jaguares in the final match of Round 8.
Three time Super Rugby champions the Bulls are struggling this season. They beat the Sunwolves at home in Loftus in Round 4 but have lost their last three matches including last week’s loss to the Sunwolves in Tokyo.
The Jaguares are a much improved side in 2017 as they have played six matches and won four. Last week they lost to the Sharks in Durban but were competitive in the match.
The Bulls have only played the Jaguares once in Super Rugby and that match was won in Buenos Aires 11-29 by the Jaguares.
The Bulls are always a stronger side at home in Pretoria but they will have to take a big step up if they are to earn their second victory of the season.
Average score: Bulls 11 Jaguares 19
Sat, 02 Jul 2016 Bulls v Jaguares 11-29 Buenos Aires
Bulls overall record against the Jaguares
Played 1, Wins 0 , Losses 1 , Draws 0
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1:Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2: Egon Seconds
TMO :Willie Vos
Jesse Kriel, Travis Ismaiel , Jan Serfontein , Burger Odendaal , Jamba Ulengo, Handre Pollard , Piet van Zyl , Hanro Liebenberg , Jannes Kirsten ,Nick de Jager ,Lood de Jager , RG Snyman ,Trevor Nyakane,Adriaan Strauss,Pierre Schoeman,
Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Lizo Gqoboka , Martin Dreyer , Jason Jenkins , Marnus Schoeman ,Rudy Paige ,Tian Schoeman , Warrick Gelant
15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Santiago González Iglesias, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Rodrigo Baez, 6 Pablo Matera, 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 Benjamin Macome, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Nicolás Sánchez, 23 Ramiro Moyano