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Chiefs change four for Cheetahs

28th February 2013 05:23

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Hika Elliot of the Chiefs is tackled

Starting at hooker: Hika Elliot

The Chiefs have made four changes to their starting XV for Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs at Waikato Stadium.

Hooker Hika Elliot will start at hooker having recovered calf-injury. He takes over from Rhys Marshall, who moves to the bench after an impressive debut in the win over the Highlanders last week.

Lock Michael Fitzgerald, scrum-half Augustine Pulu and winger Lelia Masaga start ahead of Craig Clarke, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Patrick Osborne, who are all amongst the replacements.

"Out of all the South African sides the Cheetahs probably play a style that is closest to ours," said Chiefs coach Dave Rennie. "They are innovative and can score tries from anywhere around the park and like all South African sides they are big and physical."

"We had a really free flowing match against them in Bloemfontein last year, and we are expecting them to play a style of game similar to us, which is a free flowing, high paced, ruck and run game."

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (c), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Craig Clarke, 19 Tanerau Latimer, 20 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21 Charlie Ngatai, 22 Patrick Osborn

Date: Saturday, March 2
Kick-off: 19:35 (06:35 GMT)
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Television match official: Vinny Munro (New Zealand).

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PosTeamPPts
1Crusaders1651
2Chiefs1644
3Highlanders1642
4Hurricanes1641
5Blues1637