Crusaders coach looks to the star-powered experience of Colin Slade in rejigging his back line.
Rebels respected by Crusaders as a "lethal team" and "one to beat," half back Andy Ellis says.
NICK MULVENNEY - ReutersDan Carter is hoping to bring an end to his sabbatical and make his Super Rugby return for the Crusaders in July.
JIM MORTON - AAPQueensland Reds flanker Liam Gill has been cleared for action in this weekend's test of character against the Super Rugby-leading Sharks.
Israel Dagg returns to fullback and Colin Slade will start at first five-eighth for the Crusaders against the Rebels.
RICHARD KNOWLER - © Fairfax NZ NewsOPINION: When Nemani Nadolo finally plays for the Crusaders, keep an ear cocked for his Ocker accent.
EVAN PEGDEN - © Fairfax NZ NewsUnbeaten Chiefs coach dwelling on good form shown by overseas sides rather than getting worried about under performing Kiwi teams.
LIAM NAPIER - © Fairfax NZ NewsBlues' highest paid player - earning close to $500,000 a year - isn't going to learn the game in the stands.
MARK REASON - © Fairfax NZ NewsOPINION: "Ooh, aah, Umaga." The folk on the terraces have spoken and they want Tana to coach.
EVAN PEGDEN - © Fairfax NZ NewsNelson's James Lowe could be poised to make his starting debut for the Chiefs on the wing on Friday.
RICHARD KNOWLER - © Fairfax NZ NewsColin Slade may not have worn the Crusaders 10 yet this season, but there's little doubt he wants to.
GREG BUCKLE - AAPMen in red and black are heading to Melbourne where their opponents hope to rise to the occasion.
DAVID BARBELER - AAPBrumbies hooker Stephen Moore believes someone is trying to stir the pot ahead of Saturday's blockbuster clash with the NSW Waratahs.
GREG STUTCHBURY - ReutersCanes No 9 TJ Perenara is itching to get back into the ABs environment after spending much of 2013 recuperating.
LIAM NAPIER - © Fairfax NZ NewsBlues hooker Keven Mealamu is returning to New Zealand after failing to overcome a calf injury.
ANDREW MEHRTENS - © Fairfax NZ NewsOPINION: The Crusaders and Hurricanes could do a lot worse than chancing their arms and taking a few risks on attack.
EVAN PEGDEN - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe Chiefs main focus against the Stormers on Saturday night will be a new urgency in their attacking game.
HAMISH BIDWELL - © Fairfax NZ NewsHurricanes prop John Schwalger is adamant his side have the right coach at the helm.
EVAN PEGDEN - © Fairfax NZ NewsTanerau Latimer is set to become the latest Chief to reach 100 Super Rugby appearances against the Stormers on Friday night.
EVAN PEGDEN - © Fairfax NZ NewsTom Marshall moved north to challenge for the 15 jumper but is now looking for any chance to get on the park with his new teammates.
Reynold Lee-Lo must be feeling the heat as the Crusaders attempt to rev up their backline.
JIM MORTON - AAPQueensland Reds centre Mike Harris has underlined the importance of Queensland ending their South African rut when they meet the Sharks.
CHRIS DUTTON - Canberra TimesNSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has described his trip to Canberra last year as the ''lowlight'' of his debut Super Rugby campaign.
TOBY ROBSON - © Fairfax NZ NewsOPINION: Anti Mark Hammett fever has gripped the capital following the Hurricanes dismal start to the season.
TOBY ROBSON - © Fairfax NZ NewsAlama Ieremia claims the Hurricanes biggest problem is poor execution of basic skills and not the gameplan.
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE - © Fairfax NZ NewsA frustrated Sir John Kirwan is demanding a desperation factor from his Blues players.
RICHARD KNOWLER - © Fairfax NZ NewsInjuries could force Corey Flynn and Willi Heinz out of the Crusaders for a lengthy period.
Midfield duo Kieron Fonotia and Ryan Crotty have been flicking a ball to each other for quite some time.
LIAM NAPIER - © Fairfax NZ NewsBy his high standards, Conrad Smith hasn't been in vintage form during his side's opening three losses.
Relief was the overwhelming emotion for the Crusaders last night as they scraped past the Stormers.
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe Blues are hoping to have All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu back in their mix to tackle the Lions.
LIAM NAPIER IN CHRISTCHURCH - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe Crusaders finally shook off another typically slow start to down the stoic Stormers in Christchurch last night.
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe Blues got beaten at their own game with the Bulls breaking the mould 38-22 in Pretoria early today.
The outlook for Mark Hammett and the Hurricanes seems bleak and Tana Umaga is the favourite to succeed him.
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The Melbourne Rebels were brought crashing back to earth by the Western Force in a 32-7 rout.
PHIL GIFFORD - © Fairfax NZ NewsThe Crusaders are now at a stage where every game has already become vital, not just for points on the table.
The Crusaders have scraped past the Stormers 14-13 to register their first win of the season.
It was the adrenaline rushes Schalk Burger missed the most.
MARC HINTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsSir John Kirwan wouldn’t mind his next viewing pleasure being a little more on the staid side.
RICHARD KNOWLER - © Fairfax NZ NewsThere is only one way the Crusaders can wipe this miserable week from their memories.
Quade Cooper becomes Reds record point-scorer after surpassing Elton Flatley's Super-career tally of 629 points.
TOBY ROBSON - © Fairfax NZ NewsSecond five-eighth has emerged as a major issue for a Hurricanes side with an ultra-fast backline trying to operate on dial up.
TOBY ROBSON - © Fairfax NZ NewsIt'll be hard for coach Mark Hammett to find positives after 29-21 loss to Brumbies.
The Bulls are taking inspiration from last year's historic win at Eden Park ahead of this weekend's clash.
Jeremy Thrush doesn't plan to keep his feet on the ground much this Super Rugby season.
RICHARD KNOWLER - © Fairfax NZ NewsThere's an elephant in the room and it's Israel Dagg and his switch to the Crusaders' left wing slot.
TOBY ROBSON - © Fairfax NZ NewsTalk is cheap, results are what matter and the Hurricanes need to register a first win of the year tonight.
JUSTIN CHADWICK - AAPThe Western Force will go back to basics this week in a bid to end their Super Rugby losing funk.
JIM MORTON - AAPThe Queensland Reds have set explosive Wallabies rookie Chris Feauai-Sautia the big assignment to bust the Cheetahs' defence wide open.
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