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Live blog: Super Rugby Pacific round nine

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The ninth round of Super Rugby Pacific continues when the Western Force host the Highlanders on Saturday. Follow the action in our live blog below.

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Team News

Beauden Barrett will play his 150th Super Rugby match when the Blues host the Waratahs at Eden Park on Saturday. Harry Plummer will also bring up a milestone when he runs out for his 50th Blues appearance.

Captain Dalton Papali’i has been ruled out of the clash with a rib injury, so All Black Patrick Tuipulotu will lead the team in his absence.

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As for the Waratahs, they’ll be without a number of their key players – including veteran Michael Hooper.

Darren Coleman has included six new players in the run-on side, as well as three possible debutants on the bench.

As for the final game of the round, the Highlanders are missing All Blacks Aaron Smith and Folau Fakatava for their trip to Perth.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for the men from the far south.

Following their bye week, the Highlanders have welcomed back Freddie Burns, Fabian Holland, Connor Garden-Bachop, Will Tucker, Mitch Hunt and Josh Timu.

MVP votes (3-2-1)
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Chiefs vs Fijian Drua – Daniel Rona (Chiefs), Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), Samisoni Taukei’aho (Chiefs)

Melbourne Rebels vs Crusaders – David Havili (Crusaders), Brad Wilkin (Rebels), Sam Whitelock (Crusaders)

Blues vs NSW Waratahs – Ricky Riccitelli (Blues), Beauden Barrett (Blues), Zarn Sullivan (Blues)

To come…

Western Force vs Highlanders

MVP candidates leader board (updated)

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12 points – Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders)

11 points – Shaun Stevenson (Chiefs)

9 points Cam Roigard (Hurricanes)

8 points – Leicester Fainga’anuku (Crusaders)

6 points – Aaron Smith (Highlanders), Beauden Barrett (Blues), Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), Emoni Narawa (Chiefs), Hamish Stewart (Force), Jordan Petaia (Reds), Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes), Lachlan Lonergan (Brumbies), Mark Telea (Blues), Richard Hardwick (Rebels), Rob Valetini (Brumbies), Tevita Ikanivere (Drua)

5 points – David Havili (Crusaders), Salesi Rayasi (Hurricanes)

4 points – Carter Gordon (Rebels), Iosefo Masi (Drua), Josh Flook (Reds), Langi Gleeson (Waratahs), Sam Gilbert (Highlanders), Tom Wright (Brumbies)

3 points – Andy Muirhead (Brumbies), Bailyn Sullivan (Hurricanes), Ben O’Donnell (Brumbies), Dalton Papali’i (Blues), Daniel Rona (Chiefs), Du’Plessis Kirifi (Hurricanes), Finlay Christie (Blues), Hoskins Sotutu (Blues), Izaia Perese (Waratahs), James Slipper (Brumbies), Kini Naholo (Hurricanes), Lachie Anderson (Rebels), Ryan Lonergan (Brumbies), Ricky Riccitelli (Blues), Salestino Ravutaumada (Drua), Tate McDermott (Reds), Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Highlanders)

2 points – Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), Brad Weber, Brad Wilkin (Rebels), Billy Harmon (Highlanders), Codie Taylor (Crusaders), Dallas McLeod (Crusaders), Danny Toala (Moana), Fraser McReight (Reds), Harry Wilson (Reds), Jake Gordon (Waratahs), Jamie Booth (Hurricanes), Kitione Salawa (Drua), Levi Aumua (Moana), Luke Reimer (Brumbies), Mark Nawaqanitawase (Waratahs), Nic White (Brumbies), Rhys Van Nek (Brumbies), Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), Samisoni Taukei’aho (Chiefs), Taj Annan (Reds), Tane Edmed (Waratahs), Tim Anstee (Force)

1 point – Abraham Pole (Moana), Alex Nankivell (Chiefs), Anton Segner (Blues), Cortez Ratima (Chiefs), Eroni Sau (Drua), Fetuli Paea (Highlanders), Harry Johnson-Holmes (Waratahs), Josh Moorby (Hurricanes), Kalaveti Ravouvou (Drua), Len Ikitau (Brumbies), Liam Wright (Reds), Max Jorgensen (Waratahs), Nepo Laulala (Blues), Nikora Broughton (Highlanders), Noah Lolesio (Brumbies), Ollie Callan (Force), Ollie Sapsford (Brumbies), Samipeni Finau (Chiefs), Stephen Perofeta (Blues), Suliasi Vunivalu (Reds), Zarn Sullivan (Blues)

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