The wait is almost over: Super Rugby Pacific is finally here, with teams for round one announced.
All ten teams for round one have already announced their sides, with Reds flyhalf James O'Connor set to play his 100th Super Rugby game against the Rebels on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.
The competition is building nicely ahead of the opening game, which will see the newcomers Drua travel to CommBank Stadium to face the NSW Waratahs on February 18.
Check out all the team news for the Super Rugby Pacific teams for round one below:
Friday 18 February 7:45 pm AEDT – Waratahs v Fijian Drua at CommBank Stadium
NSW Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman has named three debutants in his matchday 23, with Wales legend Jamie Roberts set to debut from the bench.
There is just one change to the starting XV that impressed against the Reds in Roma last weekend, with Dave Porecki joining Angus Bell and Harry Johnson-Holmes in the front-row and Tom Horton moving to the bench.
Lalakai Foekti has recovered from a hamstring complaint and partners Izaia Perese in the centres.
James Turner earns his spot on the left wing after impressing in the pre-season, joined by former Sevens star Dylan Pietsch and Alex Newsome in the back three.
The Fijian Drua have named an exciting squad as they look to start the competition with a bang.
Nemani Nagusa will lead the side, joined in the back-row by Meli Derenalagi and Kitione Salawa.
Selesitino Ravutaumada will line up at fullback, with Vinaya Habosi and Kitione Ratu completing an exciting back three
WARATAHS (1-15): Angus Bell, Dave Porecki, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Jed Holloway, Geoff Cridge, Lachie Swinton, Charlie Gamble, Will Harris, Jake Gordon (c), Ben Donaldson, James Turner, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Dylan Pietsch, Alex Newsome
RESERVES: Tom Horton, Tetera Faulkner, Tiaan Tauakipulu, Carlo Tizzano, Henry Robertson, Tane Edmed, Jamie Roberts.
DRUA (1-15): Jone Koroiduadua, Tevita Ikanivere, Samuela Tawake, Isoa Nasilasila, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Meli Derenalagi, Kitione Salawa, Nemani Nagusa (c), Simione Kuruvoli, Baden Kerr, Vinaya Habosi, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Apisalome Vota, Kitione Ratu, Selesitino Ravutaumada
RESERVES: Mesulame Dolokoto, Timoci Sauvoli, Manasa Saulo, Viliame Rarasea, Vilive Miramira, Peni Matawalu, Caleb Muntz, Onisi Ratave
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Referee: Reuben Keane, Matt Keelhaul
Saturday 19 February 2:35 pm AEDT – Chiefs v Highlanders at Wakatipu Rugby Park
For the Highlanders, Jermaine Ainsley and Fetuli Paea are set to make their debuts for the club after missing 2021 with injury.
Ainsley is joined in the front-row by Ethan de Groot and Liam Coltman, with Manaaki Selby-Rickit and Josh Dickson completing the tight five.
There are three Highlanders debutants in the backline as Josh Timu and Moses Dawai slot onto the wing as Fetuli Paea partners Scott Gregory in the centres
All Black Shannon Frizell will also play his 50th game for the club.
Meanwhile, Brodie Retallick will make a long-awaited return to the Chiefs.
It will be the first time he has played for the club since 2019, partnering debutant Laghlan McWhannell.
McWhannell is amongst three club debutants, with Josh Ioane earning a start at flyhalf against his old club.
Emoni Narawa slots into fullback, with Jonah Lowe and Shaun Stevenson completing the back three
CHIEFS (1-15): Ollie Norris, Bradley Slater, Sione Mafileo, Laghlan McWhannell, Brodie Retallick, Luke Jacobson, Sam Cane (co-c), Pita Gus Sowakula, Xavier Roe, Josh Ioane, Jonah Lowe, Quinn Tupaea, Alex Nankivell, Shaun Stevenson, Emoni Narawa
RESERVES: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Atu Moli, Angus Ta'avao, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Kaylum Boshier, Brad Weber (co-c), Bryn Gatland, Chase Tiatia
HIGHLANDERS (1-15): Ethan de Groot, Liam Coltman, Jermaine Ainsley, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Josh Dickson, Shannon Frizell, James Lentjes, Gareth Evans, Aaron Smith (c), Mitch Hunt, Josh Timu, Scott Gregory, Fetuli Paea, Mosese Dawai, Sam Gilbert
RESERVES: Andrew Makalio, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Josh Hohneck, Bryn Evans, Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, Marty Banks, Thomas Umaga-Jensen
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Referee: Angus Mabey, Marcus Playle
Saturday 19 February 5:05 pm AEDT – Crusaders v Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr Stadium
The Crusaders have handed Argentina superstar Pablo Matera his club debut as they prepare for the Hurricanes.
Matera slots into blindside alongside Tom Christie and Cullen Grace.
Coach Scott Robertson has named nine All Blacks in the matchday 23, with Scott Barrett taking the captaincy as he partners Sam Whitelock in the second-row.
Fergus Burke has won the race to the flyhalf position with Richie Mo'unga sitting out the start of the year, with Simon Hickey set to make his club debut from the bench.
The Hurricanes meanwhile have named debutant Justin Sangster in the second-row, partnering with the experienced James Blackwell.
Ardie Savea will captain the side from number eight joined in the back-row by Devan Flanders and Du’Plessis Kirifi.
Jamie Booth earns his first appearance since August 2020, selected to start in the halves with Ruben Love.
CRUSADERS (1-15): Joe Moody, Brodie McAlister, Oli Jager, Scott Barrett (c), Sam Whitelock, Pablo Matera, Tom Christie, Cullen Grace, Bryn Hall, Fergus Burke, Leicester Fainga'anuku, David Havili, Braydon Ennor, George Bridge, Will Jordan
RESERVES: Shilo Klein, George Bower, Tamaiti Williams, Quinten Strange, Mitch Dunshea, Mitch Drummond, Simon Hickey, Sevu Reece
HURRICANES (1-15): Pouri Rakete-Stones, Asafo Aumua, Tyrel Lomax, James Blackwell, Justin Sangster, Devan Flanders, Du'Plessis Kirifi, Ardie Savea (c), Jamie Booth, Ruben Love, Wes Goosen, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Billy Proctor, Julian Savea, Jordie Barrett.
RESERVES: Jacob Devery, Xavier Numia, Ben May, Reed Prinsep, Brayden Iose, Richard Judd, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Bailyn Sullivan
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Referee: James Doleman, Fraser Hannon
Saturday 19 February 7:45 pm AEDT – Reds v Rebels at Suncorp Stadium
Reds coach Brad Thorn has named James O’Connor at flyhalf for his 100th Super Rugby game against the Melbourne Rebels.
He will partner Tate McDermott in the halves, who will make his captaincy debut alongside Liam Wright.
Spencer Jeans and Lawson Creighton will potentially make their Queensland and Super Rugby from the bench, joined by Wallaby Hunter Paisami.
Meanwhile, Alex Mafi will make his return from injury layoff in the front-row alongside Dane Zander and Taniela Tupou.
As for the Rebels, they have confirmed Matt Philip will start, making his return after missing last season whilst in France.
He will be joined in the second-row by Ross Haylett-Petty, with Cameron Orr, Jordan Uelese and Cabous Eboff named in the front-row.
Fullback Reece Hodge and centre Matt To'omua have been cleared of injury, with Carter Gordon set to steer the side around from flyhalf.
Michael Wells will captain the side, joined in the back-row by Sam Wallis and Brad Wilkin.
REDS (1-15): Dane Zander, Alex Mafi, Taniela Tupou, Angus Blyth, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Scott-Young, Liam Wright (c), Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott (c), James O'Connor, Filipo Daugunu, Hamish Stewart, Josh Flook, Jordan Petaia, Jock Campbell
RESERVES: Josh Nasser, Harry Hoopert, Zane Nonggorr, Ryan Smith, Fraser McReight, Spencer Jeans, Hunter Paisami, Lawson Creighton
REBELS (1-15): Cameron Orr, Jordan Uelese, Cabous Eboff, Matt Philip, Ross Haylett-Petty, Sam Wallis, Brad Wilkin, Michael Wells, Joe Powell, Carter Gordon, Glen Vaihu, Matt To’omua, Stacey Ili, Lachie Anderson, Reece Hodge
RESERVES: Matt Gibbon, James Hanson, Sef Fa’agase, Thomas Nowlan, Tamati Ioane, James Tuttle, Raymond Nu’u, Young Tonumaipea
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Referee: Damon Murphy, Nic Berry
Sunday 20 February 2:00 pm AEDT – Brumbies v Force at GIO Stadium
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has named a stacked line-up for their opening round match against the Western Force with 12 Wallabies included for the Sunday afternoon clash.
Andy Muirhead will make his 50th appearance for the Brumbies, joined in the back three by the returning Tom Banks and Tom Wright.
It’s an all-Wallaby halves combination with Nic White joined by Noah Lolesio as Irae Simone and Len Ikitau complete the centres.
Captain Allan Alaalatoa, James Slipper and Folau Fainga’a make up the front-row as breakout back row Rob Valetini slotting into blindside flanker along with Rory Scott and Pete Samu.
Backrower Ed Kennedy and centre Ollie Sapsford are the two potential debutants in the team from the bench, joined by the returning Jesse Mogg.
Meanwhile, Tim Sampson has named a host of debutants, headlined by lock Izack Rodda.
Rodda and Fergus Lee-Warner make up the second-row with captain Feleti Kaitu’u, Tom Robertson and Santiago Medrano completing the tight five.
Reesjan Pasitoa and Bayley Kuenzle will start at flyhalf and inside centre respectively against their old team, with former Crusader Manasa Mataele named on the wing.
Fellow former Brumbies Harry Lloyd and Issak Fines-Leleiwasa have been included on the bench.
BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Folau Fainga'a, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Darcy Swain, Cadeyrn Neville, Rob Valetini, Rory Scott, Pete Samu, Nic White, Noah Lolesio, Andy Muirhead, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Tom Wright, Tom Banks
RESERVES: Lachlan Lonergan, Scott Sio, Tom Ross, Nick Frost, Ed Kennedy, Ryan Lonergan, Ollie Sapsford, Jesse Mogg
FORCE (1-15): Tom Robertson, Feleti Kaitu'u (c), Santiago Medrano, Fergus Lee-Warner, Izack Rodda, Brynard Stander, Kane Koteka, Tim Anstee, Ian Prior, Reesjan Pasitoa, Manasa Mataele, Bayley Kuenzle, Kyle Godwin, Toni Pulu, Jake Strachan
RESERVES: Andrew Ready, Harrison Lloyd, Greg Holmes, Ryan McCauley, Ollie Callan, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Jake McIntyre, Richard Kahui
Referee: Jordan Way
Assistant Referee: Damon Murphy, Reuben Keane