Flanker Sam Cane back in the fold for Chiefs
Outstanding young flanker Sam Cane is back in the starting mix as the top-of-the-table Chiefs tinker with their side for Sunday's Super Rugby clash with the Sharks in Durban.
On the back of two successive wins on this tour, coaches Dave Rennie and Wayne Smith have brought some fresh legs in to try to finish the job in the Shark Tank.
Cane replaces former All Blacks No 7 Tanerau Latimer who moves to the bench.
Samoan captain Mahonri Schwalger is back at hooker in his now-weekly rotation with Hika Elliot.
There is only one change to the backline where Tim Nanai Williams is rested. Asaeli Tikoirotuma starts on the left wing and Jackson Willison comes on to the bench.
The Chiefs have been the surprise package in the competition, overcoming a disappointing first-up loss to the Highlanders to win six consecutive matches.
They have done that with a mix of endeavor and enterprise. Chief's assistant coach Tom Coventry is putting the heat on his tight five to front up to the big Sharks pack this weekend and lay the platform for another good performance.
"The Sharks are a traditional South African side, big and strong upfront and a little more belligerent than other sides. They will be keen to take us on in the forward pack so we need to stick to the basics and ensure we focus on our core roles especially in our tight five," Coventry said.
The match kicks off at 3.05am on Sunday (NZ time).
Meanwhile, the Sharks have brought back robust hooker Bismark du Plessis to their front row for this match. He missed last week’s win over the Blues with injury.
There are two other changes to the pack with openside flanker Jacques Botes and blindside flanker Willem Alberts starting.
Chiefs: Andrew Horrell, Lelia Masaga, Richard Kahui, Sonny Bill Williams, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Alex Bradley, Same Cane, Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick, Craig Clarke, Ben Tameifuna, Mahonri Schwalger, Arizona Taumalolo. Reserves: Hika Elliott, Josh Hohneck, Michael Fitzgerald, Tanerau Latimer, Augustine Pulu, Jackson Willison, Robbie Robinson.
Sharks: Riaan Viljoen, Louis Ludik, JP Pietersen, Tim Whitehead, Lwazi Mvovo, Patrick Lambie, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel, Willem Alberts, Jacques Botes, Anton Bresler, Steven Sykes, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Dale Chadwick. Reserves: Craig Burden, Wiehahn Herbst, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jean Deysel, Marcell Coetzee, Frederic Michalak, Meyer Bosman.