Chiefs head coach Warren Gatland has made just one change to his starting line-up to take on the Blues in Sunday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa clash in Auckland.
Reuben O’Neill joins the starting front-row in place of first-choice loosehead prop Aidan Ross, who has been sidelined with a calf strain following last weekend’s defeat against the Highlanders.
The Chiefs’ elusive backline remains unchanged.
In the reserves, young prop Ollie Norris joins the matchday 23 alongside Taranaki scrum-half Lisati Milo-Harris.
ROUND 7⃣ | Crunch time in #SuperRugbyAotearoa
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Veteran loose forward Adam Thomson will don jersey 19 and is set for his 100th Super Rugby appearance.
Gatland said the side have once again prepared well for the derby.
“Last weekend we had the opportunity to finish the job off, but as we have seen in this competition you need to deliver an 80-minute performance, or longer in some instances and we didn’t do that,” he explained.
“This week we are looking for that consistency, starting strong once again and then continuing to stay in the game and maintain our focus on what we can control.”
Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Kaleb Trask, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Reuben O’Neill
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Quinn Tupaea
Date: Sunday, July 26
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 15:35 (04:35 BST, 03:35 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe, Paul Williams
TMO: Mike Fraser