The Chiefs have announced their strongest available team as they return to Super Rugby action against the Hurricanes this Friday.
The Chiefs have announced their strongest available team as they return to Super Rugby action against the Hurricanes at Waikato Stadium.
The New Zealand derby is the official farewell match of Chiefs' players Craig Clarke, Lelia Masaga, Richard Kahui, Brendon Leonard and Toby Smith.
Dave Rennie has named several players in his side who are returning from injury. There is only one change in the forwards with Ben Afeaki starting at prop and Ben Tameifuna moving to the bench.
Tim Nanai-Williams comes in at centre and Lelia Masaga starts on the wing. Andrew Horrell makes his comeback from the reserves and is joined by Charlie Ngatai.
“The Hurricanes had a pretty good win against the Crusaders last week and will be buoyed by that. Mathematically they are still in the competition and they have everything to play for,” said head coach Dave Rennie.
“It will be pretty physical and as the weather is expected to play its part, you will see two positive sides on the field having a real arm wrestle.”
Chiefs: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Andrew Horrell, 22 Charlie Ngatai.
Date: Friday, June 28
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: Waikato Stadium
Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)