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Chiefs make three changes for Blues in Auckland

SUVA, NEW SOUTH WALES - MAY 19: Liam Messam of the Chiefs runs the ball during the round 13 Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Crusaders at ANZ Stadium on May 19, 2017 in Suva, Fiji. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Chiefs Super Rugby head coach Dave Rennie has named a team with three changes for this weekend’s match against the Blues in Auckland.

The Chiefs lost to the Crusaders last weekend which has allowed the Hurricanes to move above them in the New Zealand Conference.

There’s just one change to the forward pack with relentless number 8 Liam Messam contributing 156 caps of experience to the starting lineup.

The remaining two changes effect the backline, with Johnny Faauli returning to the playing 23 to start at second five-eighth.

The potent mid-fielder reunites with Anton Lienert-Brown who moves to centre for Fridays evening’s unmissable derby match.

Brad Weber, Mitchell Graham, Glen Fisiiahi, Liam Polwart, Charlie Ngatai, Toni Pulu, Sam McNicol and Stephen Donald were all unavailable for selection.

Chiefs

1. Kane Hames , 2. Nathan Harris, 3. Nepo Laulala, 4. Dominic Bird , 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Mitchell Brown, 7. Sam Cane (co-captain) , 8. Liam Messam , 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10. Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 11. James Lowe , 12. Johnny Faauli , 13. Anton Lienert-Brown , 14. Tim Nanai-Williams , 15. Damian McKenzie

Replacements : 16. Hika Elliot , 17. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi , 18. Atu Moli , 19. Taleni Seu , 20. Lachlan Boshier , 21. Jonathan Taumateine , 22. Solomon Alaimalo, 23. Shaun Stevenson