Highlanders' All Blacks return home as team prepares to bounce back against Jaguares

Their one win from five matches played doesn’t quite compare to the eight losses they started the 2013 year with but it also doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season.

Yes, once the Highlanders get their match against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires out of the way this weekend they will play all but one of their remaining fixtures in New Zealand, but that also means they have a slew of derbies still to play – which are arguably the toughest matches in the competition.

Highlanders surrender halftime lead in Pretoria

They have been overrun by the previously winless Bulls in Pretoria, surrendering a 10-5 halftime lead to lose 38-13.

"We'll learn some lessons from our second half," Highlanders co-captain Aaron Smith told South African broadcaster SuperSport.

"Our first half we felt like we controlled the game. We were able to build pressure, keep that territory battle, we were winning that, but we needed to capitalise on more points for the amount of time we spent in their half and 22."

Highlanders name Manaaki Selby-Rickit in team to face Rebels

Selby-Rickit is poised to make his first Highlanders appearance off the bench alongside two other potential debutants, utility back Scott Gregory and tighthead prop Jeff Thwaites.

Selby-Rickit made his return to rugby for the Highlanders Bravehearts last weekend after serving a New Zealand Rugby ban following an assault conviction last year.

Crusaders look ahead to well-earned bye after strong start to season

The Crusaders - for now - are currently top of the Super Rugby standings, after beating southern rivals the Highlanders 33-13 in Christchurch on Friday night. 

They're 3-1 this season with wins over the Waratahs, Blues and Highlanders, with their lone defeat coming against the unbeaten Chiefs a fortnight ago. 

Last year, the Crusaders had to wait until week 10 of the competition for a bye, but their first comes much earlier this season - and at a good time as well. 

Highlanders debut for Kuridrani against Crusaders

Kuridrani has been named as one of the starting wingers for the Highlanders replacing the suspended Patelesio Tomkinson.

This means the Highlanders will have Fijians playing on the wing as Jona Nareki will start once again.

Kuridrani, who is the brother of former Fiji and Crusaders superstar Nemani Nadolo, previously played Super Rugby for the Reds.

He has represented both Fijian and Australian age-grade sides and spent two seasons in Japan before suiting up for Counties Manukau in the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup.

Rusty Highlanders go down to Sharks

The South African side scored five tries to the Highlanders two.

The hosts opened the scoring with a penalty in the sixth minute of the match when first five Mitchell Hunt kicked a penalty.

However, it was all one way traffic from there.

Flanker James Venter was the first try scorer in the match (31st minute) before Springboks winger Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries in the space of four minutes before the half was up.

By half-time the Sharks led 27-3.

Highlanders give 'Highlighter' the flick

The Dunedin based super rugby franchise is dropping the jersey from its wardrobe.

Introduced in 2011 the flouro-green jersey was worn for the last time by the Highlanders in a pre-season match against the New South Wales Waratahs in Sydney last month.

It wasn't well received by Highlanders fans when it was introduced and was derided by opposition fans but did become synonomous with the side.

The Highlanders new alternate jersey is much more conservative bluish green.

Mo'unga shines as Crusaders storm home

With a breathtaking blend of defensive grunt and attacking inspiration, the double defending champions kept their perfect home record in playoffs intact and extended their unbeaten winning streak at Rugby League Park to 29 matches.

They will return to the venue to meet the winner of the Hurricanes and the Bulls, who play their quarter-final on Saturday.

"We knew it was going to be tough, quarter-finals are always tough," Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock said.

Ben Smith returns for Highlanders

Smith will start at fullback after recovering from a hamstring strain which has kept him out for seven weeks.

He was expected to return last week against the Waratahs, but the Highlanders decided to give him extra time to recover.

The co-captain is one of just three changes to the Highlanders lineup with Sio Tomkinson replacing Tevita Li on the left wing.

Highlanders start All Black Waisake Naholo against Stormers

A week after Naholo was named to face the Lions and then withdrawn, the All Blacks wing has been handed a start against the Stormers in Cape Town on Sunday (1.05am, NZ time).

Naholo goes straight back into the No 14 jersey for the crucial game against the Stormers, with the Highlanders desperate for a win to keep themselves in a playoffs spot before they have a bye week.

"Waisake has come through the week well," Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger said on Friday.