Chiefs make seven changes for do-or-die game
The Chiefs have made seven changes to their starting XV to take on the Hurricanes in a Super Rugby do-or-die match in Hamilton on Friday night and most of those changes have come in the backline.
Dumped are backs Gareth Anscombe, Dwayne Sweeney, Robbie Fruean, Bundee Aki and Augustine Pulu, along with loosehead prop Pauliasi Manu, from the team that started in the 29-25 loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin last Friday.
Tom Marshall moves from the left wing to fullback in place of Anscombe, while Asaeli Tikoirotuma returns from his World Cup qualifying commitments with Fiji to the right wing.
Others coming in are left wing James Lowe, centre Tim Nanai-Williams, second five-eighth Charlie Ngatai and halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow.
Jamie Mackintosh takes the place of Manu at loosehead prop in the only forward pack change, while Manu, Pulu, Anscombe and Aki move to the bench where they join other newcomer Nick Barrett.
Barrett will cover tighthead prop in place of Josh Hohneck, whose season has been ended by a broken thumb.
All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick has recovered sufficiently from the hip injury he suffered in the Highlanders match to be named to play against the Hurricanes.The match is the Chiefs’ final regular season home game and Tanerau Latimer, Tikoirotuma and Aki will all be making their farewells to the home crowd at Waikato Stadium as all three have signed to play overseas next year.
Chiefs: Tom Marshall, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden (c), Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Squire, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick, Mike Fitzgerald, Ben Tameifuna, Mahonri Schwalger, Jamie Mackintosh. Reserves: Rhys Marshall, Pauliasi Manu, Nick Barrett, Matt Symons, Tevita Koloamatangi, Augustine Pulu, Gareth Anscombe, Bundee Aki.