Laulala to bring up 100 games in Super Rugby opener

Laulala to bring up 100 games in Super Rugby opener

Nepo Laulala will bring up 100 Super Rugby games when he takes to the field for the Blues in their competition opener against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday night.

The 31-year-old All Black prop is one of three PIC Steelers players named in the first Blues side of the season, joining All Blacks teammates Hoskins Sotutu and skipper Dalton Papali’i in the starting side.

Laulala debuted for the Crusaders a decade ago and enjoyed a stint at the Chiefs before joining the Blues in 2021.

Etene Nanai-Seturo has been named on the wing for the Chiefs as they face the defending champion Crusaders in the opening game of Super Rugby Pacific on Friday night.

He’s the sole Counties Manukau player in the Chiefs 23, with Peniasi Malimali not named in the matchday squad.

Cameron Roigard, PIC Steelers Player of the Year in 2022, starts at halfback for the Hurricanes as they face the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.

Prop Ezekiel Lindenmuth and lock Samuel Slade have been named to start for Moana Pasifika for their first match of the season against Fiji Drua at Mt Smart Stadium.

Alamanda Motuga (flanker) and former Waiuku lock Mike McKee have been included on the bench.

Zuriel Togiatama will come off the bench for the Drua.