OPINION: Ardie Savea may have to be prepared for the good, bad and the ugly in his first season as captain of the Hurricanes.
Depth in the tight five is an issue but a good recruitment drive and the maturing of existing talent means the Highlanders shouldn't be taken lightly.
Second-year midfielder Dallas McLeod beats out Rene Ranger to start in the midfield with Braydon Ennor and David Havili unavailable against the Highlanders.
Tony Brown has wasted no time in bringing the former All Blacks enforcer back into the fray against the Crusaders on Friday.
Less than six months after signing a new two-year deal, Simon Thomas has left the Crusaders for a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity.
Will the Blues or Hurricanes miss their leader most? What to do with Damian McKenzie? Stuff's rugby writers tackle the hot topics ahead of the new season.
New skipper Ardie Savea leads a powerhouse lineup but jerseys 9 and 10 provide coach's biggest challenge.
Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan admits there still isn't unanimity with the new ruling after Codie Taylor was incorrectly denied a challenge last weekend.
Dane Coles and Aaron Smith get emotional on camera over Super Rugby.
The Chiefs halfback is familiar with leadership because he says he talks a fair bit anyway, but it also inspired his All Blacks recall in 2019.
OPINION: After slumping to a record losing streak under Warren Gatland, the Chiefs have turned to a promising coach unproven in Super Rugby.
The All Blacks halfback will take on the role in a bid to ease the workload of Sam Cane.
His brother won't be there, but Hurricanes star recalls well the July night when he broke Blues' hearts.
Former All Blacks first recalls being hit by 'blurry red and black thunderbolt' on a day when the Penz was mightier than the sward.
Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn has lauded the efforts of interim captain James O'Connor to find his way back from the Australian rugby wilderness.
New CEO Andy Marinos says talks are ongoing with NZ Rugby and he has vowed to explore 'all options on the table'.
Crusaders skipper Codie Taylor wanted to refer the Blues' winning try in their pre-season clash but the referee incorrectly denied him.
Highlanders coach Tony Brown says Folau Fakatava 'is a different player this year' and will play a big role behind All Blacks No 9 Aaron Smith.
Returning flanker James Lentjes scores two tries as Highlanders win 35-12 but big No 13 hobbles off to give coach Tony Brown a headache.
This wasn't the start New Zealander Rob Penney, now in charge of the Waratahs, wanted.