As expected, France coach Marc LiÃ¨vremont has made various changes to his starting XV for Saturday's Six Nations match against Ireland.
Italy coach Nick Mallett has shown faith in his side that came close to beating the Irish last week by making just one injury-enforced change to take on England in Rome on Sunday.
Morgan Williams, who hung up his boots after leading Canada at the Rugby World Cup last year, will be back in action at the USA Sevens as one of three changes forced on coach Shane Thompson.
If New Zealand make the final at this weekend's USA Sevens in San Diego they will eclipse their own long-standing record of 34 unbeaten matches in IRB Sevens World Series rugby.
Kurtley Beale's second year in Super 14 rugby could be his toughest. That's according to superstar Daniel Carter as he prepared to face the Waratahs whizz-kid for the first time in Friday's Super 14 warm-up match.
Reds winger Henari Veratau has been called up to the Australian Sevens team.
Newcastle forward Phil Dowson will captain England Saxons against Italy A in Sicily on Saturday.
Scotland coach Frank Hadden has recalled Chris Paterson to his starting line-up for Saturday's crucial Six Nations clash with Wales in Cardiff.
All Black captain Richie McCaw will make his first start for the Crusaders this year when he runs on against the Waratahs in the Rotomahana Challenge on Thursday.
Well, what a weekend! Italy running Ireland close, Wales breaking their Twickenham hoodoo, France unearthing some new gems!