The Chiefs have named their team to play the Blues Blues at Yarrow Stadium in Taranaki on Friday with Tawera Kerr-Barlow playing in his 50th Super Rugby match.
The Chiefs have made two changes to the forwards with prop Ben Tameifuna and lock Michael Fitzgerald starting.
In the backs Tawera Kerr-Barlow retains his place and wins his 50th Super Rugby cap. Bundee Aki comes in at second five-eighth and Tim Nanai-Williams moves to centre with Tom Marshall at fullback.
Josh Hohneck move to the reserves and is joined by Liam Squire who has returned from injury and Anton Lienert-Brown.
Over the last few years the rivalry between the Chiefs and the Blues has become an epic battle with the brutal intensity of a test match and Friday’s encounter is expected to be no different.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said, "It is exciting for us to play our first home game in Taranaki and I know the boys are keen to earn the respect of the locals by putting on a good performance. "
"Traditionally our games against the Blues have been real ding-dong battles, and with not much between any team in the New Zealand Conference it is a massive game for both sides.”
The match is set to be a great spectacle with the Chiefs back on top of the New Zealand Conference after beating the Lions 38-8 at Waikato Stadium on Saturday and the Blues coming off a strong win against the Reds last week.
1. Pauliasi Manu ,2. Nathan Harris ,3. Ben Tameifuna ,4. Michael Fitzgerald ,5. Brodie Retallick ,6. Tanerau Latimer ,7. Sam Cane ,8. Liam Messam (c) ,9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow ,10. Gareth Anscombe,11. James Lowe ,12. Bundee Aki ,13. Tim Nanai-Williams,14. Dwayne Sweeney ,15. Tom Marshall
Replacements : 16. Mahonri Schwalger ,17. Jamie Mackintosh ,18. Josh Hohneck ,19. Matt Symons ,,20. Liam Squire ,21. Brad Weber ,22. Andrew Horrell ,23. Anton Lienert-Brown