Gear returns for Chiefs

Date published: March 4 2015

Chiefs boss Dave Rennie has made two changes to his starting line-up for Friday's clash with the Highlanders in Hamilton.

Amongst the backs, All Blacks wing Hosea Gear returns to the run-on side in place of Bryce Heem on the right wing.

With World Rugby international player of the year Brodie Retallick set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury, Michael Fitzgerald moves from the blindside flank in to the second row where he partners Matt Symons.

Fitzgerald's replacement in the number six jersey is Johan Bardoul, who impressed when coming off the bench early during last weekend's 40-16 victory over the Crusaders.

The Chiefs are also awaiting concussion clearance on Liam Messam, who is bracketed at number eight by Maama Vaipulu. Messam conducted a concussion test during the Crusaders game, but did return to action after passing the test.

If Messam does not play Vaipulu's place on the bench will be taken by Michael Leitch.

Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Liam Messam/Maama Vaipulu, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Johan Bardoul, 5 Mike FitzGerald, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Mitchell Graham, 19 Michael Allardice, 20 Maama Vaipulu/Michael Leitch, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Andrew Horrell.

Date: Saturday, March 6
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 local (06.35 GMT, 17.35 AEDT, 08.35 SAST)
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser, Shane McDermott
TMO: Chris Wratt