Super Rugby Pacific Round Seven Preview
2024/04/03

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The Super Rugby Pacific competition prepares for the first wave of byes as teams start to build towards the Finals.

The Western Force open the round when they travel to Auckland to face the Blues whilst the Melbourne Rebels host the Fijian Drua.

The Chiefs face a tough game against Moana Pasifika as the ACT Brumbies and NSW Waratahs conclude Saturday with a grudge match.

The Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes and Reds all have byes.

Rugby.com.au previews all the action from round seven, presented by Bet365

BLUES (1-15): Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Ricky Riccitelli, Angus Ta'avao, Josh Beehre, Laghlan McWhannell, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papali'i (c), Hoskins Sotutu, Taufa Funaki, Harry Plummer, Caleb Clarke, Corey Evans, Rieko Ioane, AJ Lam, Cole Forbes

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RESERVES: Soane Vikena, Joshua Fusitu'a, Marcel Renata, Anton Segner, Adrian Choat, Sam Nock, Lucas Cashmore, Caleb Tangitau

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

RESERVES: Ben Funnell, Marley Pearce, Tiaan Tauakipulu, Lopeti Faifua, Will Harris, Ollie Callan, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Henry O’Donnell

Dalton Papali'i v Carlo Tizzano

With the Blues struck down with knocks and injuries, Papali'i will have to step up and lead the way.

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The All Black is one of the best in the competition and faces the tough task of nullifying the effectiveness of Carlo Tizzano.

Tizzano rises when he plays the best - just ask Fraser McReight and the Reds - and this will be no different as he pushes for a Wallabies call-up.

Blues by 8

REBELS (1-15): Matt Gibbon, Jordan Uelese, Sam Talakai (c), Josh Canham, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angelo Smith, Maciu Nabolakasi, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Ryan Louwrens, Carter Gordon, Glen Vaihu, David Feliuai, Filipo Daugunu, Darby Lancaster, Nick Jooste

RESERVES: Alex Mafi, Isaac Kailea, Taniela Tupou, Daniel Maiava, Vaiolini Ekuasi, James Tuttle, Matt Proctor, Mason Gordon

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DRUA (1-15): Haereiti Hetet, Tevita Ikanivere, Mesake Doge, Mesake Vocevoce, Leone Rotuisolia, Vilive Miramira, Kitione Salawa, Meli Derenalagi (c), Frank Lomani, Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula, Epeli Momo, Apisalome Vota, Iosefo Masi, Selestino Ravutaumada, Ilaisa Droasese

RESERVES: Zuriel Togiatama, Livai Natave, Jone Koroiduadua, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Elia Canakaivata, Simione Kuruvoli, Waqa Nalaga, Taniela Rakuro

Darby Lancaster v Epeli Momo

Both wingers have the ability to change a game - Momo with his strength and Lancaster with his pace.

Momo has found a place on the wing with his brute strength, scoring a great try against the Force.

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As for Lancaster, his speed was crucial on debut last week, eager to continue his strong start to Super Rugby.

Rebels by 4

CHIEFS (1-15): Ollie Norris, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Reuben O'Neill, Jimmy Tupou, Tupou Vaa'i, Samipeni Finau, Simon Parker, Wallace Sititi, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Damian McKenzie, Peniasi Malimali, Rameka Poihipi (c), Daniel Rona, Emoni Narawa, Etene Nanai Seturo

RESERVES: Bradley Slater, Jared Proffit, Sione Ahio, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Kaylum Boshier, Cortez Ratima, Josh Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown

PASIFIKA (1-15): Donald Brighouse, Sama Malolo, Sekope Kepu (c), Tom Savage, Ola Tauelangi, Irie Papuni, Niko Jones, Semisi Paea, Melani Matavao, William Havili, Viliami Fine, Julian Savea, Fine Inisi, Nigel Ah Wong, Kyren Taumoefolau

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RESERVES: Samiuela Moli, Abraham Pole, Suetena Asomua, Michael Curry, Miracle Faiilagi, Aisea Halo, Otumaka Mausia, D'Angelo Leuila

Etene Nanai-Seturo v Kyren Taumoefolau

Nanai-Seturo will be eager to celebrate his 50th game in style as he makes his first Super Rugby start at fullback.

The explosive 24-year-old has plenty of experience at NPC level with Manukau at the back and will need to step up against a young gun in Taumoefolau

Taumoefolau has been featured before in this preview and tries like he scored against the Western Force and Brumbies are proof of his immense potential.

Chiefs by 18

BRUMBIES (1-15): 

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James Slipper, Billy Pollard, Sefo Kautai, Darcy Swain, Nick Frost, Rob Valetini, Tom Hooper, Charlie Cale, Ryan Lonergan (c), Noah Lolesio, Corey Toole, Tamati Tua, Hudson Creighton, Ollie Sapsford, Tom Wright

RESERVES: Connal McInerney, Fred Kaihea, Rhys Van Nek, Cadeyrn Neville, Luke Reimer, Harrison Goddard, Jack Debreczeni, Declan Meredith

WARATAHS (1-15): Angus Bell, Julian Heaven, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Jed Holloway, Fergus Lee-Warner, Lachlan Swinton, Charlie Gamble, Hugh Sinclair, Jake Gordon (c), Tane Edmed, Dylan Pietsch, Lalakai Foketi, Joey Walton, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Max Jorgensen

RESERVES: 

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Theo Fourie, Hayden Thompson-Stringer, Tom Ross, Miles Amatosero, Sione Misiloi, Teddy Wilson, Will Harrison, Izaia Perese

Tom Wright v Max Jorgensen

Wright has emerged as one of the form fullbacks of Super Rugby Pacific after guiding the Brumbies to victory over the Reds

The fullback is on a mission after his Wallabies snubbing, eager to overtake Jorgensen, who is coming off a breakout season.

Jorgensen has built into the season but knows a great game against the best in Australia will help his Wallabies case

Brumbies by 5

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