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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019

Rugby's most absurdly talented club teams play Saturday... and it isn't Clermont v Toulon

Just the 13 All Blacks on the field for the Hurricanes v the Chiefs.

Sonny Bill is lining up directly across from rival Ma'a Nonu this Saturday.
Sonny Bill is lining up directly across from rival Ma'a Nonu this Saturday.
Image: Photosport/Bruce Lim/INPHO

IT IS THE Super Rugby clash we have been waiting for all season: Chiefs v Hurricanes. With the return of Sonny Bill to the Chiefs, who were champions in two of the last three years, they were always going to be formidable but few expected the ‘Canes to be as dominant as they have been.

Sure, the Wellington side is dripping with talent, but they’ve routinely had a strong side only to falter throughout the last few seasons. But this year they have won ten of their first 11 games and face a Chiefs side on Saturday morning who have the second highest points total in the league.

Unfortunately, both sides are missing their key playmakers – both Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett are sidelined with injuries – but their is still an absurd amount of talent on the pitch.

You also have the intriguing subplot of Sonny Bill going up against Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith, with the the Chiefs man looking to blast his way into the All Blacks midfield.

canes The 'Canes have played some sparkling rugby this season.

There are 13 All Blacks contained in the two starting line-ups, with another on the bench, but there are some scintillating game-breakers among the less heralded guys too.

Both fullbacks have been causing defences serious hassle this year. ‘Canes 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder has been gliding through opposition rearguards like Bubba Watson’s hovercraft while the Chiefs Gloucester-bound counter-attacker, Tom Marshall, has quietly been one of their most consistent threats.

The game kicks off at 8.30… so it’s early but not TOO early. Just don’t do a Groundhog day when the alarm clock goes off at 8.15.


And we didn’t even get to Julian Savea, Cory Jane or Liam Messm!


15. Nehe Milner-Skudder

14. Cory Jane

13. Conrad Smith

12. Ma’a Nonu

11. Julian Savea

10. James Marshall

9. TJ Perenara

1. Reggie Goodes

2. Motu Matu’u

3. Ben Franks

4. Jeremy Thrush

5. James Broadhurst

6. Brad Shields

7. Ardie Savea

8. Victor Vito


16. Dane Coles

17. Chris Eves

18. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen

19. Mark Abbott

20. Blade Thompson

21. Chris Smylie

22. Otere Black

23. Rey Lee-Lo


15. Tom Marshall

14. Hosea Gear

13. Charlie Ngatai

12. Sonny Bill Williams

11. James Lowe

10. Damian McKenzie

9.  Brad Weber

1.  Pauliasi Manu
2.  Hika Elliot
3.  Ben Tameifuna
4.  Michael Allardice
5.  Michael Fitzgerald
6.  Liam Messam ©
7.  Sam Cane
8.  Michael Leitch

16. Quentin MacDonald
17. Siate Tokolahi
18. Mitchell Graham
19. Liam Squire
20. Maama Vaipulu
21. Augustine Pulu
22. Andrew Horrell
23. Bryce Heem

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