Chiefs chop and change for Kings

Date published: March 10 2016

A largely new look pack will start for the Chiefs when they take on the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie has made numerous changes to the team that narrowly lost 36-32 to the Lions last Saturday in Hamilton. 

The revamped front row sees Mitchell Graham, Nathan Harris and Siate Tokolahi pack down for their first starts of the season. In the second row, Johan Bardoul partners with Michael Allardice. Bardoul replaces the injured Brodie Retallick who is sidelined for 4-6 weeks after sustaining broken ribs against the Lions last week. 

Taleni Seu, Sam Cane and Michael Leitch form the loose forward trio adding plenty of power and agility to the back of the scrum.

In the backs, Brad Weber gets his first start of the 2016 Super Rugby season at scrum-half. Co-captain Aaron Cruden retains the number 10 jersey, with Charlie Ngatai and Seta Tamanivalu continuing their dominant partnership in the midfield for the third successive week.

Glen Fisiiahi impressed in his debut to earn his first start on the right wing, with James Lowe and Damian McKenzie rounding out the backline in jerseys 11 and 15 respectively.

The strong reserve bench packs a punch with Rhys Marshall, Pauliasi Manu and 2015 gold medal winning New Zealand U20 captain Atu Moli on hand as front row replacements. They are joined on the bench by fellow forwards James Tucker and Maama Vaipulu.

Replacement scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow offers plenty of experience, with Anton Lienert-Brown and Sam McNicol ready to add impact to the backline off the bench.

Should Atu Moli and James Tucker take the field, they will be making their Super Rugby debuts while Sam McNicol is in line to earn his first cap for the Chiefs.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Glen Fisiiahi, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (cc), 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (cc), 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Johan Bardoul, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Mitchell Graham
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Atu Moli, 19 James Tucker, 20 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Sam McNicol

Date: Saturday, 12 March 
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 15:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Referees: Jaco Peyper, Rodney Bonaparte
TMO: Johan Greeff