The Chiefs have made six personnel changes and two other positional ones for their Super Rugby away match against the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday night.
The changes come in the wake of the 31-23 home loss to the Reds last weekend and five of them are to the backline with only first-five Aaron Cruden and left winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma remaining in their same positions in the starting lineup.
Brendon Leonard, who recently came back from a broken cheekbone suffered in pre-season play, gets his first start of the season at halfback in place of August Pulu with Tawera Kerr-Barlow still out with his broken jaw.
Richard Kahui shifts in one position to second-five and Charlie Ngatai comes in at centre with Bundee Aki dropping out of the match 22, Lelia Masaga returns on the right wing in place of Tim Nanai-Williams and Andrew Horrell gets the No15 jersey with Gareth Anscombe dropping out of the starting XV for the first time this season.
Pulu, Anscombe and Nanai-Williams all go to the reserves bench.
Changes to the forward pack see Pauliasi Manu replace Toby Smith at loosehead prop with youngster Mike Kainga remaining on the bench, while Fritz Lee comes back at No8 after missing much of last week's buildup to the Reds match due to illness and dental problems.
With Lee's return to the back of the scrum skipper Liam Messam shifts back to the blindside flank and Sam Cane gets to keep the No7 jersey ahead of Tanerau Latimer, who goes to the bench.
Chiefs: Andrew Horrell, Lelia Masaga, Charlie Ngatai, Richard Kahui, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Aaron Cruden, Brendon Leonard, Fritz Lee, Sam Cane, Liam Messam (c), Brodie Retallick, Mike Fitzgerald, Ben Tameifuna, Hika Elliot, Pauliasi Manu. Reserves: Rhys Marshall, Mike Kainga, Nick Crosswell, Tanerau Latimer, August Pulu, Gareth Anscombe, Tim Nanai-Williams.
- Waikato Times
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