Folau back for Waratahs Semi (team sheet)

Israel Folau and Jacques Potgieter will start for the Waratahs in their Super Rugby Semi-final against the Brumbies at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday.

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Waratahs

Israel Folau, Alofa Alofa, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Stephen Hoiles, Kane Douglas, Jacques Potgieter, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson.

Replacements :(from) 16 Paddy Ryan, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Tolu Latu, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Mitchell Chapman, 21 Pat McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 24 Matt Carraro, 25 Mitchell Chapman

Super Rugby Semi final matches decided!

Following the completion of the Super Rugby qualifiers the Semi-finalists for the the Super Rugby Semi-finals have been decided.RW Stamp

The Brumbies beat the Chiefs 32-30 in Canberra while the Sharks beat the Highlanders 31-27 in Durban so the Chiefs and the Highlanders have been eliminated.

The six qualifying teams finished the regular season as follows.

1. Waratahs
2. Crusaders
3. Sharks
4. Brumbies
5. Chiefs
6. Highlanders

The Waratahs and the Crusaders finished in first and second place which earned them a bye this week and a home Semi-final next week.

The Waratahs will play the lowest ranked qualifier and the Crusaders play the highest ranked qualifier.

As the Chiefs and the Highlanders have been eliminated the Sharks are the highest qualifier and will face the Crusaders in Christchurch.

The Super Rugby Semifinals are therefore as follows.

Semi-final A
Date :
Saturday 26th of July
Match : Crusaders vs Sharks in Christchurch (AMI Stadium)
Kick off : 1935 local

Semi-final B
Date :
Saturday 26th of July
Match : Waratahs vs Brumbies in Sydney (SFS)
Kick off : 19.30 local

Should any Super Rugby Finals Series match end with the scores level, the following will apply until a winner is determined:

a) Extra time played in two periods of 10 minutes
b) Sudden death extra time in a period of up to 10 minutes
c) A kicking competition featuring five players from each team

Super Rugby Play-off Qualifier round (team sheets)

BRUMBIES VS CHEIFSTeamsheets

Brumbies: 1. Scott Sio , 2. Josh Mann-Rea , 3. Ben Alexander , 4. Sam Carter , 5. Leon Power , 6. Scott Fardy , 7. Jarrad Butler , 8. Ben Mowen (c) , 9. Nic White , 10. Matt Toomua , 11. Robbie Coleman , 12. Christian Lealiifano , 13. Tevita Kuridrani , 14. Henry Speight , 15. Jesse Mogg

Replacements : 16. Ruaidhri Murphy , 17. Ruan Smith , 18. Allan Alaalatoa , 19. Fotu Auelua , 20. Tom McVerry , 21. Michael Dowsett , 22. Joe Tomane , 23. Pat McCabe

Cheifs: 1. Jamie Mackintosh , 2. Mahonri Schwalger , 3. Ben Tameifuna , 4. Mike Fitzgerald , 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Liam Messam , 7. Tanerau Latimer , 8. Liam Squire , 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10. Aaron Cruden (c) , 11. James Lowe , 12. Bundee Aki , 13. Tim Nanai-Williams , 14. Asaeli Tikoirotuma , 15. Dwayne Sweeney

Replacements : 16. Nathan Harris , 17. Pauliasi Manu , 18. Nick Barrett , 19. Matt Symons , 20. Tevita Koloamatangi , 21. Augustine Pulu , 22. Gareth Anscombe , 23. Tom Marshall

SHARKS VS HIGHLANDERS

Sharks: 15. SP Marais , 14. S’bura Sithole , 13. JP Pietersen , 12. Paul Jordaan , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Frans Steyn , 9. Cobus Reinach , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Maroetzee , 5. Stephan Lewies , 4. Anton Bresler , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis (c) , 1. Thomas du Toit

Replacements :16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Dale Chadwick , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Etienne Oosthuizen , 20. Jean Deysel , 21. Charl McLeod , 22. Pat Lambie , 23. Tonderai Chavhanga

Highlanders: 1 . Kane Hames , 2 . Ged Robinson , 3 . Chris King , 4 . Jarrad Hoeata , 5 . Joe Wheeler , 6 . Elliot Dixon , 7 . Shane Christie , 8 . Nasi Manu (Co.Captain) , 9 . Aaron Smith , 10 . Lima Sopoaga , 11 . Patrick Osborne , 12 . Phil Burleigh , 13 . Malakai Fekitoa , 14 . Richard Buckman 15 . Ben Smith (Co.Captain)

Replacements : 16 . Liam Coltman , 17 . Matias Diaz , 18 . JP Koen , 19 . Josh Bekhuis , 20 . Tom Franklin , 21 . Fumiaki Tanaka , 22 . Trent Renata , 23 . Gareth Evans

NZ’s worst kept secret: Nonu returns to the Hurricanes

Wellington based Super Rugby franchise the Hurricanes have announced that All Black second five-eighth Ma’a Nonu has signed a oneRW Stamp year deal with the franchise.

Nonu earned 110 caps for the Hurricanes between 2003 and 2011 has today signed on with the club for the 2015 Super Rugby season.

Nonu said he was thankful to the Blues for the support they had shown him, but also grateful to be coming back to the Hurricanes.

“I’m very happy to be heading home to the family again and am looking forward to the challenge ahead in 2015.”

Before departing the capital in 2012, Nonu contributed 215 points in his 110 matches for the Hurricanes, made up of 43 tries.

Incoming Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said the skill set Nonu would bring to the Hurricanes would greatly complement the players already on the roster.

“I coached Ma’a for the first time back in the early 2000s in the Wellington B team, so we have a long history together as a player and coach.

“I’m really looking forward to having him back in the environment and working with him again.”

Hurricanes chief executive James Te Puni said recent fan interest had certainly been high in Nonu returning to his home town, and it was pleasing to be able to confirm his homecoming today.

“The departure of Tim Bateman and Alapati Leiua has created a need at 12, and clearly Ma’a is a world-class midfielder. Alongside the return of Jason Woodward, Canes fans can look forward to seeing a very exciting Hurricanes back line for 2015.”

Joubert and Walsh to ref SR Qualifiers

SANZAR have announced that South Africa’s Craig Joubert and Australia’s Steve Walsh will be the officials in charge of the Super Rugby Qualifiers.

Joubert will be the official in Canberra, where the Brumbies host the Chiefs, while Walsh will take charge in Durban in the second Qualifier between the Sharks and the Highlanders.

Super Rugby Qualifier A
Saturday 19 July 2014
Brumbies v Chiefs
GIO Stadium, Canberra, Australia
Kick-off (19:40 local, 21:40 NZST, 11:40 SAST, 09:40 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
AR1: Rohan Hoffmann
AR2: James Leckie
TMO: George Ayoub

Super Rugby Qualifier B
Saturday 19 July 2014
Sharks v Highlanders
Kings Park, Durban, South Africa
Kick-off (17:05 local, 03:05* NZT, 01:05* AEST, 15:05 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh
AR1: Jaco Peyper
AR2: Cobus Wessels
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

The two semi-finals have been confirmed for Saturday 26 July.

Qualifying Super Rugby teams rank
1. Waratahs
2. Crusaders
3. Sharks
4. Brumbies
5. Chiefs
6. Highlanders

Crusaders v higher-ranked winner
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
SA time: 09h35

Waratahs v lower-ranked winner

Final Super Rugby Log

Overall Super Rugby table and standings
Conference leaders.
Team
Nation
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
Bp
Ttl
1. Waratahs () 16 12 4 0 481 272 209 10 58
2. () 16 11 5 0 445 322 123 7 51
3. () 16 11 5 0 406 293 113 6 50
4. () 16 10 6 0 412 378 34 5 45
5. () 16 8 6 2 384 378 6 8 44
6 () 16 8 8 0 401 442 -41 10 42
7. () 16 8 8 0 439 374 65 9 41
8. () 16 9 7 0 343 393 -50 4 40
9. () 16 7 8 1 365 335 30 8 38
10. () 16 7 9 0 419 395 24 9 37
11. () 16 7 9 0 290 326 -36 4 32
12. () 16 7 9 0 367 413 -46 3 31
13. () 16 5 11 0 374 493 -119 8 28
14. () 16 4 11 1 372 527 -155 6 24
15. () 16 4 12 0 303 460 -157 5 21

One change to Bull beater (Stormers team sheet)

Tiaan Liebenberg makes his first start in a Stormers jersey in a long time, replacing the injured Deon Fourie.

Coach Alistair Coetzee spoke recently about how the Stormers are trying to end a season that started poorly and then got worse:

‘Like I said at the start of last week, these last two games are very important for us, but this last one is probably the most important one because that is where you leave your last impressions,’ said Coetzee.

‘We definitely would like to end the 2014 season on a high. If we don’t get the result it will be a bit of a setback.’ he added.

Stormers – 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger (c), 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Alistair Vermaak.

Subs: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Seabelo Senatla.