Chiefs make six changes for Crusaders

Last updated 15:03 17/04/2014
Liam Messam
PETER DRURY/Fairfax NZ
LEADER: Liam Messam will start the Chiefs' clash with the Crusaders while Sam Cane, right, moves to the bench.

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Influential lock Brodie Retallick has been cleared to start for the Chiefs against the Crusaders on Saturday night.

The 2.04-metre All Blacks second rower failed a concussion test late in the win over the Rebels last weekend. He has passed all the required tests since, and will take his place in the XV at Waikato Stadium.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made six changes to the starting side, featuring the return of skipper Liam Messam, who will be at blindside flanker after coming off the bench last weekend.

Tanerau Latimer, in his 100th appearance for the Chiefs - only the second player to achieve the feat, after Messam, - moves from six to start at openside, shifting Sam Cane to the pine.

Rounding out the loose trio is Liam Squire, who returns from a three-week layoff with a neck injury.

The other change to the pack is in the front row, with Pauliasi Manu replacing Jamie Mackintosh at loosehead prop.

In the backline, Tawera Kerr-Barlow replaces Augustine Pulu at halfback and winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma is back after two weeks out with a knee injury.

His selection sees veteran Mils Muliaina drop out of the 23 altogether.

On the bench, lock Matt Symons returns in place of Ross Filipo.

The match shapes as yet another huge derby, with these two teams having built up a great rivalry in recent seasons.

"The Crusaders are a bloody good side with good players that we respect," Rennie said.

"It is a big occasion being Lats' 100th match for the Chiefs and the boys rate him highly so they are keen to front for him."

Chiefs: Tom Marshall, Tim Nani-Williams, Andrew Horrell, Bundee Aki, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Gareth Anscombe, Tawere Kerr-Barlow, Liam Squire, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick, Michael Fitzgerald, Ben Tamiefuna, Rhys Marshall, Pauliasi Manu. Reserves: Nathan Harris, Jamie Mackintosh, Josh Hohneck, Matt Symons, Sam Cane, Augusitne Pulu, Jordan Payne, Anton Lienart-Brown. 

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