Chiefs name line-up against the Stormers
The Chiefs have brought two of their long-term injured backs straight into the starting XV to take on the Stormers at Waikato Stadium on Friday night.
The introduction of Gareth Anscombe at fullback in place of Mils Muliaina and Tom Marshall in the surprise position of second five-eighth are just two of six personnel and three positional changes from the side that pipped the Highlanders 21-19 in their last Super Rugby match 1 1/2 weeks ago.
Anscombe has come back from reconstruction surgery on both shoulders in the off-season, while Marshall had to recover from surgery to repair a ruptured thumb ligament as well as a back injury and this will be the first appearance of the season for both players.
It will be Marshall's Chiefs debut, having played for the Crusaders last season. He played mostly on the wing for the Crusaders and mostly at second-five for Tasman in last year's national provincial championship, but moved to the Chiefs in search of more play at fullback.
Charlie Ngatai, who scored the winning try against the Highlanders after moving there late in that game, shifts from second-five to centre for this match, with Robbie Fruean dropping to the bench.
Big Tasman winger James Lowe gets his first Super Rugby start on the left wing in place of regular starter Asaeli Tikoirotuma, who moves to the bench.
In the forward pack yet another Tasman player, Liam Squire, gets his first Super Rugby start at No8 with co-captain Liam Messam moving back to his preferred blindside flanker spot and Nick Crosswell dropping out of the match 23.
Young All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick returns from a concussion layoff to take his place at tighthead lock with newcomer moving across to loosehead lock in place of Mike Fitzgerald after filling in for Retallick against the Highlanders.
There is also one change in the starting front row with Jamie Mackintosh back at loosehead prop in place of Pauliasi Manu, who returns to the bench.
Chiefs: Gareth Anscombe, Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai, Tom Marshall, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden (c), Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Squire, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam (vc), Brodie Retallick, Matt Symons, Ben Tameifuna, Mahonri Schwalger, Jamie Mackintosh.
Reserves: Rhys Marshall, Pauliasi Manu, Josh Hohneck, Michael Fitzgerald, Tevita Koloamatangi, Brad Weber, Robbie Fruean, Asaeli Tikoirotuma.