Narawa to debut for All Blacks with McKenzie at 10

Fiji born Narawa will earn his first cap a few days shy of his 24th birthday, with Caleb Clarke on the other wing.

Lock Josh Lord features for the first time since 2021.

The versatile McKenzie has been preferred to Richie Mo'unga in the number 10 jersey, though the latter is on the bench and may be being held back for the home game against South Africa in Auckland a week later.

All Blacks centre suspended for entire Rugby Championship

He has been banned after being cited for a dangerous tackle during the Super Rugby final defeat to the Crusaders last Saturday in Hamilton.

Lienert-Brown made head on head contact with Crusaders wing Dallas McLeod when making a tackle.

McLeod failed the Head Injury Assessment and was removed from the game.

Lienert-Brown was yellow carded by referee Ben O'Keefe at the time, but was later cited with the incident deemed to have med the red card threshold.

Lienert-Brown has been suspended for 3 weeks, up to and including 29 July.

Chiefs to come out swinging against fast starting Crusaders

15 Crusaders points in the opening 12 minutes set the tone for the match in Christchurch, which ended with a scoreboard figure of 52-15. The other semi-final offered an entirely different match, with the first try of the game only coming in the 78th minute.

The Chiefs have found ways to win all season and Jacobson, fresh off being named in the All Blacks‘ 2023 Rugby Championship squad, was looking content with the week ahead when he spoke to the media on Tuesday.

Chiefs playmaker Bryn Gatland heading to Japan

He's has signed a deal with Kobe Steelers.

Gatland will link up with his Chiefs teammate, All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick, at Kobe, with the latter announcing his departure earlier this year.

Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan praised Gatland's character and abilities.

"Bryn has been an excellent Chief over the last three years. He is an experienced and calm tactician, an outstanding goal kicker and a tough defender. These qualities will serve him well as he embarks on the next phase of his rugby journey."

Breakout Chiefs star Daniel Rona earns fulltime contract

But such has Rona’s impact been in his Super Rugby Pacific shot, the Chiefs on Tuesday announced that not only would he be remaining in their ranks through till the completion of the campaign, but that he had also signed a three-year deal to be in their clutches through till 2026.

Chiefs outmuscle Hurricanes in Hamilton slogfest

All Blacks lock Tupou Vaa'i scored two of the Chiefs' three tries in miserable conditions in Hamilton to bounce back from last week's shock 25-22 loss to the Reds - their first defeat of the season.

Up 10-0 at halftime, the home side looked comfortably placed when Vaa'i then bagged his second try as the pouring rain grew in intensity reports RNZ.

However, tries to Hurricanes fullback Josh Moorby and No.8 Brayden within the space of 10 minutes closed the gap to eight points entering the closing stages.

All Black returns for Crusaders’ clash with undefeated Chiefs

After losing the opening match of the season 31-10 to the Chiefs in Christchurch, the Crusaders have a chance to avenge that defeat in round 10.

Coach Scott Robertson has made three changes to the run-on XV, while Sam Whitelock has also been named for his 350th first-class appearance.

Replacement Quinten Strange is also in line for his 50th appearance in a Crusaders jersey, as he looks to provide some impact off the bench at FMG Stadium.

Poor starts again prove costly for Drua

The Drua went down 50-17 at FMG stadium in Hamilton on a wet and soggy night on Friday in their Super Rugby Pacific match.

RNZ reports it left Mick Byrne lamenting the poor start to the game.

"Obviously the scoreboard was disappointing tonight but when we get back, we have four of our last six games at home," he said.

"We`ve building nicely through the year but the boys are going to look forward to getting on the plane tomorrow and getting home.

Crusaders to spend spare time studying 'frontrunners' Chiefs

The Crusaders are back in action this Friday after a bye and shaky win over Moana Pasifika the prior week - a game assistant coach James Marshall conceded has been like their season to date.

"I thought we sort of scraped through it really, we didn't hit out straps," Marshall said of the first half the season.

"I thought maybe the Blues [a tight 34-28 win] was our best game of the year so far but other than that I thought a lot was pretty messy.

Hurricanes face Super Rugby litmus test against Chiefs

The Hurricanes topped the table with a 29-14 win at the Highlanders last weekend while the Chiefs had a bye, setting up a blockbuster at Sky Stadium between the top two sides in the competition.

Jason Holland's Hurricanes will look to extend their winning streak to five for the first time since the 2020 season and shrug off any lingering doubts about their title credentials.

They have not defeated any of the major contenders this campaign but now have their chance against the unbeaten Chiefs in a match rescheduled to the afternoon due to a lighting problem at the venue.