Crusaders vs. Chiefs, Blues vs. Brumbs

Brumbis Lane will be without Ikitou for Saturday’s Super Rugby semifinal against the Blues when Wallaby Center was given a three-week suspension for his high tackle against Hurricane.

However, Sangitar, who is ready to miss only two games, said that Ikitau was allowed to take “coaching intervention” to deal with “technical tackle / contact strategy errors that contributed to foul play”.

Read on for all the latest semi-final team news.

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Burn the defense of Weber Wartas

Crusaders vs. Chiefs, AEST in Christchurch at 5.05pm on Friday

All Blacks Flanker Sam Kane has been named to the chief’s bench for the first Super Rugby semifinal.

Pumas prop Santiago Medrano missed two games due to a knee injury against Can Force when he dived into his leg.

“Yeah, pretty unhappy,” Kane told staff when asked about the incident.

“Directly targeting the side and the lower limbs – we have seen in the league that there is some exclusion around these areas.

“But it’s not a very good feeling to bend your knees like that, and I’m probably lucky that when I saw the footage it wasn’t worse, it got stuck a long way.”

The only change in the Chiefs’ starting lineup is Josh Ion at fullback for the ailing Immune Narawa.

The Crusaders made just one change, replacing the injured Ethan Blacader (shoulder) of openside flanker Tom Christie.

Crusaders (15-1): Will Jordan, Sevu Rees, Jack Goodhu, David Haveley, Leicester Fingananuku, Richie Munga, Brian Hall, Cullen Grace, Tom Christie, Pablo Matera, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett (C), Oli Jagger, Cody Taylor, George

Reserve: Brody McAllister, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Niall, Zach Gallagher, Corey Kello, Mitch Drummond, Braden Ener, George Bridge

Heads (15-1): Josh Ion, Jonah Lowe, Alex Nankivel, Quinn Tupaiya, Eten Nanai-Seturo, Brian Gatland, Brad Weber (C), Pita Gas Sowakula, Luke Jacobson, Samipeni Finau, Tupau Viai, Brody Retalio, Audi

Reserve: Bradley Slater, Oli Norris, George Dyer, Nito Ah Cuoi, Sam Can, Xavier Rowe, Rameka Poehipi, Chase Tiatia

Judge: Nick Berry (AUS)

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Slice the bank through for the brumbies

Blues vs. Brumbs, AEST in Auckland at 5.05pm on Saturday

The Brumbies have received mixed news for their Super Rugby semifinals. Wallace Browser Rob Valetini is back to start at number 8 from a hamstring injury, while Test center Lane Ikitau has been ruled out with suspension.

Valentini’s comeback Pete Samu switches to the openside flanker, and Luke Reimer begins the shift in the back row as he descends on the bench.

This allowed young Tom Hooper to retain his place in the blinds after his outstanding performance in the quarter-finals against the Hurricanes.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Brumbis coach Dan McKeller compared Hooper’s body to that of Wallabis Great Wayne Finnegan.

“His form is exceptional and he will play for Australia,” McKeller said.

“I think we have to be careful not to rush the boys. But what he’s doing is he’s doing well against the standards. Ardy wants to dominate Sevilla. Many don’t. “

Oli has replaced Ikitau at the Sapsford Center.

Blues (TBC)

Brumbis (15-1): Tom Banks, Tom Wright, Oli Shapsford, Ira Simon, Andy Muerhead, Noah Lolesio, Nick White, Rob Valetini, Pete Samu, Tom Hooper, Cadern Neville, Darcy Swain, Alan Alatoa (C), Silau Finega, Zem

Reserve: Lachlan Lonargan, Scott CO, Sefo Kautai, Nick Frost, Luke Reimer, Jahrom Brown, Ryan Lonargan, Hudson Creighton

Judge: Ben O’Keefe (NZ)

Shawn Maloney and Andrew Mehertens look back at the Super Rugby Pacific Quarter Finals and talk to departed Brumbis legend Scott Seo.

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