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Super Rugby

Big names return for Hurricanes v Brumbies.

Squads named.

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Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images

Both the Hurricanes and Brumbies welcome back some of their big names this weekend for the clash in Palmerston North this weekend.

Beauden Barrett is one of seven changes made to the Hurricanes side following two unconvincing outings to open their Super Rugby campaign, which includes the inclusion of All Blacks TJ Perenara, Ngani Laumape, Ardie Savea and Vaea Fifita into the starting side.

Head coach John Plumtree said he expects his side to produce a more convincing display than they did in their first home game of the year, with the return of their key players being the catalyst.

“We want to improve a lot of aspects of our play and hopefully we can do that in front of what will be a great crowd in Palmy,”

“We were really impressed with the performance the Brumbies put out last week so we know the scale of task ahead of us but it’s a great challenge for the squad.”

Hurricanes Team:

For the Brumbies, 2019 recruit Pete Samu is set to make his run on debut for the Brumbies at six, alongside David Pocock who is fit enough to rejoin the starting XV.

Wallabies front rower, Scott Sio comes in for James Slipper at loosehead prop having gained some match fitness off the bench the past two weeks.

Brumbies Team:

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Rugby Transfer Rumours

South African Star Heading for Japan

Another big South African name is going to Japan next season

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(Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

South African back Jesse Kriel is set to join the Canon Eagles in the Top League next season.

The versatile back will leave the Bulls in South Africa and head to Japanese shores come the end of the Super League season.

Speaking ahead of the move Kriel, who had a spell in Japan with the NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes, is delighted to be returning.

“I am extremely excited and privileged to be joining Canon Eagles. I have played in Japan before and it was an amazing experience. I am very excited to be returning to the Top League. I hope to make many more great memories on and off the field in Japan. I am very grateful to the Bulls and Springboks for their continued support and backing,” he said to International Player Management.

The 25-year-old is the latest departure for the Bulls, who currently sit second in the Super Rugby South African conference.

It was confirmed yesterday that Handre Pollard will be leaving the side to move to Montpellier next season.

As well as those two, Jason Jenkins, RG Snyman and Lood de Jager have all already confirmed their departures from the club who have signed deals over shores.

The nation and its clubs will have to figure out a way of competing with the lucrative deals and salaries that the likes of England, France and Japan are offering players or face losing more star names.

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Mitre 10

Ulster Add New Zealand Star to Their Ranks

Ulster have confirmed another massive signing with the latest one coming in from New Zealand

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(Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

Ulster have announced the signing of utility back Matt Faddes from New Zealand side the Highlanders for next season.

The Super Rugby back, who can play in the centre, on the wing or at full-back, will join the club for the start of the 2019/20 Pro 14 season.

Faddes, who represented the Barbarians against Fiji at the Kingspan Stadium in 2016 has admitted that his visit three years ago had a part to play in his decision.

“Both Georgie (his wife) and I are looking forward to the experience of living and working in a new environment and the challenge that will provide. It’s exciting to consider the next chapter of my rugby career. When I visited in 2016, I was struck by the family, community feel to the club,” he said.

Although he has never been capped by the All Blacks he has represented the New Zealand Sevens team as well as the Barbarians.

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland is excited by his sides latest signing and can’t wait to see what he brings to the ever-improving side.

“Matt is a quality player who will bring a lot of experience, skill and creativity to our backline. He’s quick and has shown throughout his career the ability to beat defenders with his footwork and acceleration. His versatility will also be very important for us, meaning he is able to play various positions alongside our talented young backs. Matt is excited about moving over to Ireland and with his undoubted ability and strong worth ethic, I’m sure he’ll add a significant amount to our squad,” he said.

Faddes’ arrival is the fourth ‘big name’ signing of the summer already for the northern outfit who have already confirmed that Leinster prop Jack McGrath, Brumbies lock Sam Carter and Worcester prop Gareth Milasinovich will all be wearing white and red next season.

McFarland is delighted that the club is attracting such high-quality players and believes that with the mixture of them along with the younger players in the squad the future looks bright for Ulster.

“Jonny [Petrie], Bryn [Cunningham] and I feel that this year’s recruitment process has been very productive and it’s encouraging that we are able to continue to attract players of this calibre to Ulster. The new arrivals will bolster our squad depth for next season and increase competition for places in key areas. This, coupled with the experience gained by so many of our young players this season, bodes well for us moving forward,” he added.

The New Zealander has been playing for his native Otago in the Mitre 10 Cup since 2010 and representing the Highlanders also, scoring an impressive 19 tries in 43 appearances for the Dunedin-based side. Ulster are having an incredible summer so far in the transfer department and having reached the Pro 14 semi-finals already this season it will be interesting to see if they can push on even further next year.

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Premiership

Leicester Allow Wallaby to Leave Early

Leicester Tigers have granted an early release to one Wallaby

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Leicester Tigers have given Matt Toomua permission to be released from his contract early to join up with the Melbourne Rebels.

Leicester Tigers have given Matt Toomua permission to be released from his contract early to join up with the Melbourne Rebels.

“Matt Toomua flew back to Australia on Sunday and has already trained with the Rebels as they continue their Super Rugby campaign,” a club statement said.

After joining in 2016 Toomua went on to make 41 appearances for the English side and was voted their player of the year for the 2018/19 season by the fans due in part to his brilliant vision and passing abilities.

The 29-year-old leaves the club after joining during one of the most difficult times in their history and will look to march on to better things Down Under.

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