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Messam on the bench for Chiefs against Reds

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Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie has named former captain Liam Messam on the replacements bench for Friday’s Super Rugby match against the Reds in Brisbane.

The Chiefs beat the Crusaders last week which moved them to the top of the New Zealand Conference and they can now control their own destiny and potentially earn a home quarter final.

The Chiefs will play New Zealand Conference rivals and current champions the Highlanders in Dunedin next weekend so Rennie has shuffled his team to meet the demands of the next two rounds.

In the forwards, Kane Hames, Nathan Harris and Atu Moli form a powerful front row, with Dominic Bird and Taleni Seu partnering at lock. All Black Sam Cane will lead the pack at number 8, he’s joined in the loose forwards by workhorse Tom Sanders and exciting openside Lachlan Boshier.

There’s a reshuffle in the backline with Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Aaron Cruden returning to the starting fifteen to start at nine and 10 respectively.

The powerful combination of Anton Lienert-Brown and Seta Tamanivalu team up again in the midfield while James Lowe and Toni Pulu retain their places on the wings. Damian McKenzie will start at fullback for his 14th consecutive Super Rugby game this season.

Nepo Laulala, Mitchell Karpik, Pauliasi Manu, Sam Henwood, Johan Bardoul, Glen Fisiiahi, Maama Vaipulu, Michael Allardice, Mitchell Graham, Michael Leitch, Chase Tiatia, Charlie Ngatai, Brodie Retallick, Augustine Pulu (All Blacks Sevens) were all not considered for selection.

Chiefs

1. Kane Hames, 2. Nathan Harris , 3. Atu Moli, 4. Dominic Bird, 5. Taleni Seu, 6. Tom Sanders, 7. Lachlan Boshier , 8. Sam Cane (cc) , 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10. Aaron Cruden (cc), 11. James Lowe , 12. Anton Lienert-Brown , 13. Seta Tamanivalu, 14. Toni Pulu , 15. Damian McKenzie

Replacements : 16. Hika Elliot , 17. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi , 18. Siate Tokolahi , 19. Mitchell Brown , 20. Liam Messam , 21. Brad Weber , 22. Andrew Horrell , 23. Sam McNicol

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