Chiefs chop and change for Bulls

Date published: May 20 2015

Chiefs boss Dave Rennie has made several changes to his starting XV for Friday's clash with the Bulls in Rotorua.

In the front row Mitchell Graham starts at loosehead prop while in the second row Michael Fitzgerald has been bracketed with former Chiefs and All Blacks player Ross Filipo, who was called into the side earlier this week as cover.

The confirmed starting lock will pack down alongside Johan Bardoul. The only other change to the run-on side sees Augustine Pulu assume the starting role at scrum-half.

Prop Pauliasi Manu and scrum-half Brad Weber move to the reserves while utility back Tim Nanai-Williams returns to the matchday 23.  

Chiefs Development lock Brian Alainu’uese gets the opportunity to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench. The 21-year-old has come through the Chiefs U18 programme and has been part of the Chiefs Development squad for the last two seasons.

Meanwhile a scan on winger James Lowe’s right shoulder has revealed he has an injury to the cartilage on the shoulder joint which will require a rehabilitation period of four to six weeks.    

Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Bryce Heem, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (c), 5 Johan Bardoul, 4 Michael Fitzgerald/Ross Filipo, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Mitchell Graham.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Pauliasi Manu, 19 Brian Alainu’uese, 20 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Tim Nanai-Williams.

Date: Friday, May 22
Venue: Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Kick-off: 19:35 local (17:35 AEST, 09:35 SAST, 07:35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson, Aki Aso
TMO: Glenn Newman