Canterbury rubber-stamped their domestic dominance by storming to a sixth successive New Zealand provincial title.
Former Australia captain Rocky Elsom has signed for Japanese club Kobe Steel and may already have played his last game for the Waratahs.
Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has denied claims he has begun talks to take over as Australia boss.
Round-up: The Stomers suffered their first defeat of the campaign, a 31-24 thriller at the hands of the Crusaders.
Round-up: The Waratahs won an all-Australian Super 15 clash at Western Force, while the Sharks won away at the Auckland Blues.
Referees will be able to wave white cards in addition to the usual yellows and reds in Super 15 rugby in a bid to reduce foul play.
Waratahs duo Berrick Barnes and Adam Ashley-Cooper will both play in Saturday's season-opening Super 15 encounter with the Reds.
The Crusaders will play their first Super Rugby 'home' game of next season against the Chiefs at McLean Park in Napier on March 9.
An extended Super Rugby season is a major factor behind Chiefs coach Dave Rennie's decision to name two captains to lead the side.