Preview: Brisbane 10s
SUPER RUGBY PRE-SEASON: Some of the biggest names in the game - both past and present - will be on display when the Brisbane 10s take place on Saturday and Sunday.
Wallabies playmaker Berrick Barnes and emerging talent Ben Gunter have been confirmed in the Japanese Wild Knights squad, while the Robbie Deans-coached side also features Jack Cornelsen, the highly rated son of former Queensland and Wallabies great Greg Cornelsen.
Try-scoring machine Akihito Yamada headlines a swag of Japanese stars that will be intent on showcasing their country's continued emergence as rugby power. Japan famously defeated the Springboks in the 2015 World Cup and will host the next event in 2019.
Veteran prop Census Johnson will be leading the charge for Tama Samoa at the February 11 and 12 tournament.
At a whopping 137kg, the 56-test cap Stade Toulousian prop will quite literally be the biggest attraction at the tournament.
The Tama Samoa squad features eight Manu Samoa players and two from the Manu Samoa Sevens, including Sevens captain Tila Mealoi and try scoring machine Samoa Toloa.
Captained by Falemiga Selesele, the selection is dominated by locally based players with Johnston providing the bulk of the experience.
Springbok flanker Jacques Potgieter headlines a raw, but talented Bulls line-up.
Global powerhouse Toulon will field an all-star backline quintet - consisting of Wallabies stars Drew Mitchell and James O'Connor and Pacific powerhouses Alesana Tuilagi and Josua Tuisova and Japan Test fullback Ayumu Goromaru.
The 71-test fullback/wing Mitchell, former teenage prodigy O'Connor and former Red Goromaru will make homecomings to Brisbane as part of a Toulon team bursting with international flavour.
Ten capped All Blacks, numerous Maori stars and New Zealand Sevens players, a veteran Wallaby and a collection of the game's most exciting emerging stars feature in the squads named by the five New Zealand Super Rugby franchises.
World Cup winners Nehe Milner-Skudder, Cory Jane (Hurricanes) and Liam Messam (Chiefs) headline the 10-strong contingent of All Blacks selected across the five franchises.
The tournament will also see the comeback from injury of crowd favourite and six-test All Black Rene Ranger (Blues). Joining Ranger in the Blues' squad is current All Black wing George Moala, former Kiwis league international Matt Duffie and All Blacks Sevens stars Ambrose Curtis and Declan O'Donnell.
All Black forward Steven Luatua was withdrawn from the Blues squad after failing to recover from injury in time for the tournament.
As well 2015 World Rugby breakthrough player of the year Milner-Skudder, the Hurricanes have named 53-test All Black Cory Jane, who has recently returned from a stint in Japan.
A strong looking Hurricanes side sees blockbusting prop Loni 'The Tongan Bear' Uhila come in as a late replacement for Jeffery Toomaga-Allen. The squad also features lock Vaea Fifita and former New Zealand Under-20 star Jordie Barrett - both of whom toured with the All Blacks as injury cover last year - as well as former Warriors league star Ngani Laumape.
All Blacks Moala - who played against Ireland in Chicago - Crusaders centre Seta Tamanivalu and the Highlanders' breakthrough hooker Liam Coltman have all been named in their respective squads.
The Highlanders squad, which also features highly-rated flier Tevita Li, will be captained by 2013 All Black Luke Whitelock.
The Crusaders will be boosted by the presence of star new recruit Digby Ioane - a veteran of 37 tests for the Wallabies - and All Blacks Sevens star Tim Bateman.
All Black lock Luke Romano was a late withdrawal after suffering an injury in training.
A high-powered Chiefs squad will be anchored by 47-test All Black Liam Messam, veteran All Blacks hooker Hika Elliott and capped All Black Brad Weber, with All Blacks Sevens star turned Samoa test international Tim Nanai-Williams providing the pace out wide.
The collection of Kiwi stars will be joined by 20 Wallabies Test players.
The tournament will also feature wildcard players Chris Latham, Stephen Larkham, Andrew Walker and Lote Tuqiri, who was named in the Waratahs squad alongside Wallabies fullback Israel Folau.
Multi-code superstar Israel Folau has been confirmed in the Waratahs squad. The former league and AFL player will be joined by fellow dual-code international and long time friend Lote Tuqiri in a Waratahs squad boasting a potent blend of experience and youth.
Fan favourite Tuqiri - who chalked up six State of Origin appearances for Queensland, nine test matches for the Kangaroos and 67 test appearances for the Wallabies - joins the Waratahs under the tournament's wildcard provision.
Wallabies James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Samu Kerevi, Leroy Houston and wildcard inclusion Chris Latham have been included in a Queensland Reds squad that also features cross-code superstar Karmichael Hunt, rising sensation Taniela Tupou and key new recruit Lachlan Maranta.
The squad features five capped Wallabies, 20 players with Super Rugby experience and six uncapped players.
The Western Force is headlined by Wallaby duo Tatafu Polota-Nau and Luke Morahan, while Brisbane fans will get a first look at NRL sensation Curtis Rona in the blue jersey and no Force squad is complete without club legend Matt Hodgson.
The Melbourne Rebels named seven internationals and a former Australian vice-captain in their squad.
Rebels head coach Tony McGahan has included five Wallabies - Reece Hodge, James Hanson, Sefa Naivalu, Toby Smith and Lopeti Timani - as well as Japanese international Amanaki Mafi, Fijian international Ben Volavola and former Australian vice-captain Morgan Turinui.
With 87 Tests of experience in the 27-player squad, the Rebels have a balance of international experience and youth.
POOL A: Chiefs, Rebels, Waratahs, Wild Knights
POOL B: Blues, Crusaders, Reds, Samoa
POOL C: Bulls, Brumbies, Highlanders
POOL D: Hurricanes, Toulon, Force
All 14 squads.
BRUMBIES: Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin, Tomas Cubelli, Tom Banks, Scott Sio, Nic Jooste, Joe Powell, Andrew Smith, Lausii Taliauli, Aidan Toua, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Robbie Abel, Allan Alaalatoa, Chris Alcock, Jarrad Butler, Tom Staniforth, Blake Enever, Saia Fainga'a, Lolo Fakaosilea, Ben Hyne, Les Leulua'iali'i-Makin, Nic Mayhew, Jordan Smiler, Stephen Larkham (wildcard), Andrew Walker (wildcard)
WARATAHS: Israel Folau, Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Paddy Ryan, Hugh Roach, Damien Fitzpatrick, Ned Hanigan, Ryan McCauley, Michael Wells, Rory O'Connor, Pat McCutcheon, Brad Wilkin, Jamason Schultz, Matt Lucas, Jake Gordon, Mack Mason, Bryce Hegarty, David Horwitz, Andrew Deegan, Con Foley, Andrew Kellaway, Cam Clark, Harry Jones, Reece Robinson, Lote Tuqiri (wildcard)
REDS: James Tuttle, Moses Sorovi, Jake McIntyre, Duncan Paia'aua, Henry Taefu, Samu Kerevi, Eto Nabuli, Lachlan Maranta, Chris Kuridrani, Brad Lacey, Karmichael Hunt, Jayden Ngamanu, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Sef Fa'agase, Sam Talakai, Alex Mafi, Andrew Ready, Rob Simmons, Cadeym Neville, Lukhan Tui, Izack Rodda, Michael Gunn, Adam Korcyk, Leroy Houston, Chris Latham (wildcard)
REBELS: Cruze Ah-Nau, Steve Cummins, Jack Debreczeni, Murray Douglas, Tom English, Colby Fainga'a, Jackson Garden-Bachop, James Hanson, Reece Hodge, Mitch Inman, Marika Koroibete, Pat Leafa, Tyrel Lomax, Jack Maddocks, Amanaki Mafi, Ben Meehan, Sefa Naivalu, Jordy Reid, Culum Retallick, Toby Smith, Nic Stirzaker, Lopeti Timani, Sione Tuipulotu, Ben Volavola, Laurie Weeks, Morgan Turinui (wildcard)
FORCE: Curtis Rona, Luke Morahan, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Matt Hodgson, Richard Arnold, Marcel Brache, Robbie Coleman, Mees Erasmus, Peter Grant, Richard Hardwick, Ross Haylett-Petty, Onehunga Kaufusi, Kane Koteka, Ryan Louwrens, Semisi Masiwera, Isireli Naisarani, Alex Newsome, Chance Ataera, Matthew Philip, Ian Prior, Anaru Rangi, Michael Ruru, Brynard Stander, Heath Tessmann, James Verity-Amm, Shambeckler Vui
BLUES: Josh Goodhue, Hapakuki Moala-Liava'a, Tom Robinson, Sam Prattley, Kara Pryor, Marcel Renata, Brandon Nansen, Joe Royal, Scott Scrafton, Murphy Taramai, Ambrose Curtis, Matt Duffie, Pasqualle Dunn, Billy Guyton, George Moala, Sam Nock, Declan O'Donnell, Stephen Perofeta, Rene Ranger, Jordan Trainor, Matt Vaega
CRUSADERS: Tim Perry, Mike Alaalatoa, Oliver Jager, Quinten Strange, Chiris Gawler, Mitchell Dunshea, Peter Samu, Jed Brown, Leon Fukofuka, Marty McKenzie, Bryn Hall, Tim Bateman, David Havilli, Jack Goodhue, George Bridge, Andrew Makalio, Seta Tamanivalu, Ben Funnell, Whetu Douglas, Mitchell Hunt, Digby Ioane, Sione Fifita, Manasa Mataele, Sean Wainui, Jordan Taufua
HIGHLANDERS: Aki Seiuli, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Liam Coltman, Josh Dickson, Tom Franklin, Jackson Hemopo, James Lentjes, Craig Millar, Dillon Hunt, Gareth Evans, Luke Whitelock, Kayne Hammington, Josh Renton, Fletcher Smith, Tei Walden, Rob Thompson, Jason Emery, Tevita Li, Matt Faddes, Sio Tomkinson, Marty Banks
CHIEFS: Liam Messam, Hikawera Elliott, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Liam Polwart, Atu Moli, Sam Caird, Findlamor Hoeata, Brad Weber, Joseva Ravouvou, Findlay Christie, Tim Nanai-Williams, Sheldon Tovio, Sevu Reece, Jonathan Taumateine, Shaun Stevenson, Solomon Alaimalo, Alex Nankivell, Dwayne Sweeney, Sosefo Kautai, Taleni Seu, Mitchell Brown, Luteru Laulala, Latu Vaeno, Luke Jacobson, Lachlan Boshier, Mitchell Graham
HURRICANES: Nehe Milner-Skudder, Cory Jane, Reg Goodes, Loni Uhila, Ricky Riccitelli, Asafo Aumua, Chris Eves, Mike Kainga, Joe Apikotoa, Vaea Fifita, Mark Abbott, James Blackwell, Brad Shields, Reed Prinsep, Toa Halafihi, Hugh Renton, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Kemera Hauiti-Parapara, Otere Black, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor, Wes Goosen, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Ngani Laumape, Jonah Lowe, Jordie Barrett
TOULON: Drew Mitchell, James O'Connor, Alesana Tuilagi, Josua Tuisova, Ayumu Goromaru, Axel Muller, Jimmy Yobo, Anthony Belleau, Geoffrey Cazanave, Teiva Jacquelain, Swan Rebbadj, Emerick Setiano, Bastien Soury, Thomas Vernet, George Stokes, Aidon Davis, Gregory Annetta, Rudy Gahetau
WILD KNIGHTS: Asaeli Ai Valu, Atsushi Sakate, Naoki Kawamata, Kotaro Yatabe, Daniel Heenan, Masaki Tani, Ryota Hasegawa, Yoichi Iijima, Yuta Takagi, Taiki Koyama, Ben Gunter, Ryu Koliniasi Holani, Jack Cornelsen, Emerson Tamura, Takuya Yamasawa, Berrick Barnes, Rikiya Matsuda, Akihito Yamada, Yasuki Hayashi, Yuga Hyakutake, Keisuke Moriya, Tomoki Kitagawa, Iori Kaji, Yoshikazu Fujita, Kentaro Kodama, Tadahiro Miwa
BULLS: Francolis Brummer, Dries Swanepoel, Tian Schoeman, Cornelius Els, Edgar Marutlulle, Renaldo Bothma, Ruben Van Heerden, Ruan Steenkamp, Rudy Paige, Shaun Adendorff, Travis Ismaiel, Jacques Potgieter, Hanro Liebenberg, Ivan Van Zyl, Conrad Van Vuuren, Jade Stighling, Jamba Ulengo, John Kotze, JT Jackson, John-Roy Jenkinson, Lizo Gqoboka, Luther Obi, Burger Odendaal, Nicholas De Jager, Piet Van Zyl, Warrick Gelant
SAMOA: Census Johnston, Tietie Tuimauga, Ausetalia Vaiomanu, Jarred Adams, Bronson Fotualii Tauakipulu, Ripine Fualau, Oneone Faafou, Faalemiga Selesele, Mikaele Tapili, Liahona Vaegaau, Jeff Lepa, Greg Foe, Lucky Schuster Palamo, Danny Tusitala, Dangelo Leuila, Patrick Faapale, Opetera Peleseuma, Faafou Amate, Meki Magele, Tila Mealoi, Johnny Samuelu, Faletoa Moli, Samoa Toloa