Highlanders beat Stormers in Dunedin

The Stormers have lost their past 10 games in New Zealand, and have just one win from four matches this season.

The late loss of hooker Ash Dixon, ruled out after a head knock at training, had little effect on the Highlanders, with Liam Coltman slotting in efficiently.

Coming off the bye, their scrum was solid and their work at the breakdown was relentless. While handling errors meant second-half tries went begging, the Highlanders always looked in control.

Plumtree takes over at the Hurricanes

Chris Boyd has already announced he'll be leaving after the current season to take up a position with English club Northampton.

Jason Holland will be assistant coach with both he and Plumtree signing three-year deals.

Boyd and Plumtree arrived at the Hurricanes in 2015 after working together in Wellington and at the South African side the Sharks.

At that time Boyd said that he had planned that Plumtree would eventually take over from him.

The pair guided the Hurricanes to their maiden Super Rugby title in 2016 after finishing runners-up in 2015.

Hurricanes dominate Jaguares in Buenos Aires

The five tries were enough to secure a bonus point as the 2016 champions left their hosts with a third-straight loss - their worst start in three seasons in the competition.

Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett, making his first start after coming off the bench in the 21-19 loss to the Bulls in South Africa last weekend, converted three tries while his replacement Jackson Garden-Bachop slotted a penalty.

Barrett brothers back for Hurricanes

Beauden will start at first five after coming off the bench during the Hurricanes first up loss to the Bulls while Jordie will start at fullback.

Sunday's match will be the first time Jordie Barrett has started a game since he injured his shoulder playing for the Hurricanes in last year's Super rugby semi final in July.

All up the Hurricanes have made made four changes to the starting side from last week with prop Chris Eves replacing the injured Toby Smith while Ben Lam comes on to the wing to replace Wes Goosen who has an ankle injury.

Hurricanes lose forward to Wales

27 year old Thomson, has been part of the Hurricanes club since 2013, making 40 appearances. That number would have been significantly higher had he not suffered two serious shoulder injuries in recent seasons.

Equally adept at No 8 or lock, the former New Zealand Under-20 world champion and Maori All Black said he was determined to help the Hurricanes fulfil their potential and win another Investec Super Rugby title before he headed to the Welsh club.

"My focus is fully on finishing the current season on a high with the Hurricanes and hopefully lifting some silverware.

One of the worst performances by the Hurricanes

It was a hugely disappointing effort and result for Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd.

Boyd said he realised after about three minutes of play game that his side had not turned up, which was disappointing because he they had been working towards the game for a long time.

"In the period of time that I've been coaching here I don't think I've ever been involved in a game where we've prepared so well and delivered so little."

Ngatai and Cane to captain Chiefs

Cane has shared the role with Aaron Cruden over the past two campaigns before the first-five departed for France last year.

Ngatai has captained both the Maori All Blacks and Taranaki under new Chiefs coach Colin Cooper, who had no hesitation in selecting the pair.

Cooper was not so enthusiastic, however, about discussing the potential signing of prodigy Etene Nanai-Seturo following his high-profile split with the Warriors NRL club.

Canes thrash Crusaders in pre-season hit out

Jonah Lowe bagged a hat-trick as the visitors ran in seven tries to four in ideal conditions, with both teams using a host of different players.

None of the All Blacks in both squads were available for the contest.

It left Crusaders coach Scott Robertson to blood 18 players who are yet to experience Super Rugby, while Northampton-bound Hurricanes mentor Chris Boyd also surveyed his depth.

There were no apparent serious injuries suffered.

The next assignment for both teams is next week's Brisbane 10s tournament.

Savea staying with Canes

Savea, 27, was dumped from Steve Hansen's All Blacks squad for the Rugby Championship after a less than impressive series against the British and Irish Lions. He was also benched by the Hurricanes for their Super Rugby semifinal against the Lions in Johannesburg - the second straight year he was demoted at the business end of the competition.

Apisai says bye to Canes

"Then I suffered a concussion against the Blues and - talk about taking your opportunities - that's something Ricky's done well, and it shows, because he's been called into the All Blacks," Apisai said on Wednesday.

Back then Apisai was the second hooker on the Hurricanes' depth chart, just a spot below captain Dane Coles. Injury helped Ricky Riccitelli push past him, and with Asafo Aumua now emerging strongly, Apisai is off to Auckland having signed a two-year deal with the Blues.