Chiefs change backline...again

02nd Jul 2014, 13:04


Starting: Harlequins-bound Asaeli Tikoirotuma

Starting: Harlequins-bound Asaeli Tikoirotuma

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has rung the changes to his backline for Friday's must-win Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has rung the changes to his backline for Friday's must-win Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes in Hamilton.

The defending champions will attempt to save their season with a brand new backline as Aaron Cruden is the only back to retain his place in the starting XV after last week's 29-25 loss against the Highlanders.

There is just one change in the pack as prop Jamie Mackintosh replaces Pauliasi Manu.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow starts at scrum-half, replacing Augustine Pulu, while Charlie Ngatai and Tim Nanai-Williams in the midfield. Asaeli Tikoirotuma and James Lowe start on the wings with Tom Marshall at full-back.

Rhys Marshall comes onto the bench and is joined by Nick Barrett who has the chance to make his Super Rugby debut with Josh Hohneck out with a broken thumb. Augustine Pulu, Gareth Anscombe and Bundee Aki all move to the reserves.

Friday's encounter is expected to be the Chiefs' last home game for the season and will mark the official farewell for Tanerau Latimer, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Bundee Aki and Mils Muliaina who are all heading off shore to continue their careers.

"Having our home crowd support makes a huge difference to the team," said co-captain Liam Messam.

"With the New Zealand conference so close, that huge vocal support is going to be important. We know how crucial this match is and want to play well for our fans and our boys leaving."

Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Nick Barrett, 19 Matt Symons, 20 Tevita Koloamatangi, 21 Agustine Pulu, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Bundee Aki.

Date: Friday, July 4
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 local (17.35 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)