Super Rugby has returned in all its glory in 2015 and here we preview the sixth round of games, focusing on the New Zealand franchises with the upcoming British & Irish Lions tour in mind.
First up on Friday is a mouth-watering clash between the so-far unbeaten Hurricanes and the Highlanders.
While the Canes have won four from four to kick off the 2015 Super Rugby season, the Highlanders have beaten them the last three times they have played so something has to give.
And really the focus will be on the battle of the All Blacks in the backline, the likes of Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett and Conrad Smith have impressed for the Canes, not to mention Ma’a Nonu who appeared against the British & Irish Lions last time they toured New Zealand in 2005.
But the Highlanders have impressed in recent weeks and have an impressive record in Dunedin with their All Blacks in Ben Smith, Aaron Smith and Malakai Fekitoa sure to test the Canes’ perfect start.
Last year’s runners up in Super Rugby, and seven-time former champions, the Crusaders have showed signs that they are finally clicking into gear.
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is rested for the visit of the Cheetahs meaning that Kieran Read takes over the armband.
Israel Dagg also returns at full-back to play his first game since round two while Dan Carter will continue in the inside centre position he impressed in last week.
The Chiefs face a testing trip to Natal to take on the Sharks and with Tim Nanai-Williams injured and Sonny Bill Williams concussed it could prove a tough ask for Aaron Cruden and co.
The winless Blues have a bye week along with the Reds and the Stormers while the Rebels take on the Lions, the Bulls face Western Force and the defending champion Waratahs welcome the Brumbies to Sydney for a tasty Aussie derby.
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