Super Rugby kicks off tonight
The Super Rugby season officially kicks off tonight for the New Zealand teams.
It’s a derby double header with the Highlanders taking on the Blues tonight and the Crusaders hosting the Chiefs tomorrow.
A new coach, some new faces at the Highlanders, and seven of the faces are Māori.
The All Blacks have returned and captain Ash Dixon has returned to the club from injury.
“I think Aaron's brought his own wee flavour into this side. We've had a pretty good foundation here of what Jamie Jo and co have set up but it's been really good having some different ideas and different opinions. And you know the boys have really enjoyed a fresh start. And Ants is really positive and just been a really good guy. So for us it's just about going out there and enjoying ourselves tomorrow.”
The Blues backline is full of stars like Sonny Bill Williams and Rieko Ioane,
But Tana Umaga reckon the biggest concern are the forwards.
“As I just said we've got five injuries at the moment and they're in the one position. It just seems to be if you're a loose forward or a first five for the Blues that's where you get your opportunities you know. It is what it is.”
Last year's champions, the Crusaders, take on the Chiefs in Christchurch.
The Chiefs have a new way about them this year - Brad Weber has returned and Damien McKenzie will start at 10.
According to Coach Scott Robertson, the Crusaders are wary of what McKenzie can do.
“Look Damien is an extremely talents and gifted rugby player. Look, he's brave, above his playing weight. Look he's going to ten he's played there before, he's confident, he's trained there a lot whereas 15 and 10 currently for the All Blacks. Look I think the shift into 10 is going to be pretty seamless for the young fella.”
The Hurricanes take on the Bulls in Pretoria, South Africa on Sunday morning.