Wholesale changes for Chiefs

25th Apr 2013, 13:43

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Dropped: Charlie Ngatai

Dropped: Charlie Ngatai

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made a host of changes to his side, which sees a total of nine new players in this week's starting XV.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made a host of changes to his side, which sees a total of nine new players in this weekend's starting line-up to tackle the Sharks.

Prop Michael Kainga gets his first start of the year in the front row with Toby Smith. Hooker Mahonri Schwalger gets his second start of the season having returned from a knee injury and is joined by lock Craig Clarke who is back in action after a lengthy period on the sidelines.

Nick Crosswell starts at number eight after Fritz Lee was ruled out with a broken finger, while openside flanker Tanerau Latimer benefits from Sam Cane's surprise demotion to the bench.

In the backs, Augustine Pulu gets the nod at scrum-half in place of Brendon Leonard. Richard Kahui has proved to the Chiefs medical team that he is fit to start, resuming the midfield position with Tim Nanai-Williams at centre and Gareth Anscombe at full-back.

Ben Tameifuna, Michael Fitzgerald, Cane, Leonard and Charlie Ngatai all move to the bench and are joined by Bundee Aki.

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Nick Crosswell, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Michael Kainga, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Bundee Aki, 22 Charlie Ngatai.

Date: Saturday, April 27
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: Waikato Stadium
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)