x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Super 14: the teams in focus

Stadium: Eden Park, (25,000) Coach: Pat Lam (First Year) Captain: Keven Mealamu Key Player: Ali Williams Ins: Josh Blackie (Kobe Japan), Charlie Faumuina (Auckland), Jimmy Gopperth (Hurricanes), Michael Hobbs (Hurricanes), Chris Lowrey (Auckland), Tevita Mailau (Auckland), Rene Ranger (Northland, Chris Smylie (Harbour), Ali Williams (Crusaders), Jay Williams (Chiefs), Paul Williams (Crusaders). Outs: Ben Atiga (unavailable), Daniel Braid (Reds), Bryn Evans (Hurricanes), Nick Evans (Harlequins), Troy Flavell (Mitsubishi Japan), Danny Lee, Bronson Murray (Crusaders), Isa Nacewa (Leinster), George Pisi, Nick White (retired), Nick Williams (Munster). Best Finish: Winners 1996, 1997, 2003.

Stadium: AMI Stadium, (26,400) Coach: Todd Blackadder (First Year) Captain: Richie McCaw Key Player: Brad Thorn. Ins: Ryan Crotty, Owen Franks, Jason MacDonald (Highlanders), Bronson Murray (Blues), Jared Payne, Jonathan Poff, Isaac Ross (Highlanders), Colin Slade, Thomas Waldrom (Hurricanes), Adam Whitelock. Outs: Dan Carter (Perpignan), Hamish Gard, Scott Hamilton (Leicester), Campbell Johnstone (Biarritz), Ti'i Paulo, Caleb Ralph (Sanix), Greg Somerville (Gloucester), Reuben Thorne (Yamaha), Mose Tuiali'i (Yamaha), Ali Williams (Blues). Best Finish: Winners 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008.

Stadium: Carisbrook, (40,000) Coach: Glenn Moore (Second Year) Captain Jimmy Cowan Key Player: Jamie Mackintosh. Ins: Josh bekhuis, Matt berquist, Israel Dagg, Jayden Hayward, Kendrick Lynn, George Naoupu, Anthony Perenise, Sean Romans, Jason Rutledge, Jason Shoemark, Ben Smith. Outs: Aaron bancroft, Keith Cameron (retired), Mike Delaney (Chiefs), Hason MacDonald (Crusaders), Hoani MacDonald (Newport), Toby Morland (Chiefs), Craig Newby (Leicester), Isaac Ross (Crusaders), Niva Ta'auso (Connacht), Ezra Taylor (Reds), Paul Williams (Blues), James Wilson (Chiefs). Best Finish: semifinalist 1998, 2000, 2002

Stadium: Waikato Stadium (27,000) Coach: Ian Foster Captain: Mils Muliaina Key Player: Sione Lauaki (right) In: Colin Bourke, Mark Burman, Craig Clarke (Hurricanes), Mike Delaney (Highlanders), Hika Elliot (Hurricanes), Serge Lilo, James McGougan, Toby Morland (Highlanders), Joe Savage, Arizona Taumalolo, Jackson Willison, James Wilson (Highlanders)

Stadium: Westpac Stadium, (34,500) Coach Colin Cooper (Seventh Year) Captain: Rodney So'oialo Key Player: Piri Weepu Ins: Josh Bradnock, Dane Coles, Bryn Evans (Blues), Jason Kawau, Dan Kirkpatrick, Fafilli Levave (Chiefs), Karl Lowe, Api Naikatini, David Smith (Blues), Victor Vito. Out: Craig Clarke (Chiefs), Jerry Collins (Toulon), Jimmy Gopperth (Blues), Michael Johnson, Chris Masoe (Castres), Shannon Paku (Montauban), Tane Tu'ipulotu (Newcastle), Bernie Upton, Thomas Waldrom (Crusaders). Best Finish: Finalists 2006

Stadium: Loftus Versfeld (51,762) Coach: Frans Ludeke Captain: Victor Matfield Key player: Fourie du Preez (right) In: Jaco Pretorius (Lions), Dries van Schalkwyk (Boland), Out: Wikus van Heerden (Saracens), Juandre Kruger (Northampton Saints), Trompie Nontshinga (Griquas/Cheetahs), Divan Kotze (Lions), Hilton Lobberts (Stormers), Derick Hougaard (Leicester)

Stadium: Free State Stadium (48 000) Coach and how long: Naka Drotske (2008) Captain: Juan Smith Key player: Juan Smith In: Gerrie Odendaal (Valke), Hanno Coetzee (Valke), Corne Uys (WP), Sarel Louw (Griffons), Piet van Zyl (Boland), Tertius Carse (Griquas), Nico Breedt (Toulon), Ryno Barnes (Valke), Jean Botha (Boland), WP Nel (Boland), Piet Myburgh (Boland). On loan from Griquas: Dewald Pretorius, Trompie Nontshinga, Egon Seconds, Riaan Viljoen, Bjorn Basson, Naas Olivier, Davon Raubenheimer, Wayne van Heerden, Albertus Buckle and Ruaan du Preez Out: Duane Vermeulen (Stormers), Barend Pieterse (retired), Jaco du Toit (France), Darron Nel (Castres), Rory Duncan (Jubilo Yamaha, Japan) Previous best in Super 14: Tenth (2006)

Stadium: Ellis Park (59 600) Coach and how long: Eugene Eloff (2007) Captain: Cobus "Baywatch" Grobbelaar Key player: Jaque Fourie In: Divan Kotze (Bulls), Alistair Siegelaar (WP), Todd Clever (USA), Divan Kotze (Bulls), Robert Kruger (Leopards), Hans van Dyk (Griquas), Jannes Labuschagne (out of retirement), Ruan Cloete (Valke), Shandre Frolick (Stormers), Henno Mentz (Sharks), Barry Goodes (Cheetahs), Ashwin Willemse (Biarritz) Out: Jaco Pretorius (Bulls), Rayno Benjamin (Sevens) Previous best in Super 14: Third (2001)

Stadium: King's Park (52,000) Coach: John Plumtree Captain: Johann Muller Key player: Ruan Pienaar (right) In: John Smit (Clermont), Len Olivier (Valke) Out: Henno Mentz (Lions), BJ Botha (Ulster), AJ Venter (Stormers), Frederic Michalak (Toulouse), Bradley Barrett (Saracens), Johan Ackermann (retired)

Stadium: Newlands (51,000) Coach: Johan Erasmus Captain: Jean de Villiers Key player: Schalk Burger (right) In: Hilton Lobberts (Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Stormers), Paul Bosch (Leopards), AJ Venter (Sharks)

Stadium: Canberra Stadium (27,000) Coach: Andy Friend Captain: Stephen Hoiles Key player: Stirling Mortlock (right) In: Alfi Mafi (NSW), Stephen Moore (Queensland) Out: Julian Huxley (retired), Peter Playford (NSW), Adam Wallace-Harrison (NSW) Previous best performance: winners in 2001, 2004

Stadium: Sydney Football Stadium (46,000) Coach: Chris Hickey Captain: Phil Waugh Key player: Lote Tuqiri (right) In: Scott Fava (Western Force). Out: Daniel Vickerman (England), Rocky Elsom (Ireland), David Lyons (Wales). Previous best performance: second in 2005, 2008

Stadium: Suncorp Stadium (52,000) Coach: Phil Mooney Captains: James Horwill/Berrick Barnes Key player: Quade Cooper (right) In: Daniel Braid (NZ), Anthony and Saia Faingaa (ACT) Out: Rodney Blake (Europe), Chris Latham (UK), Stephen Moore (ACT), Sam Cordingley (France), John Roe (retirement)

Stadium: Subiaco Oval (43,000) Coach: John Mitchell Captain: Nathan Sharpe Key player: Matt Giteau (right) In: Josh Valentine (NSW) Out: Matt Henjak (France), Scott Fava (NSW) Previous best performance: seventh in 2007