Super Rugby

Chiefs change five for Crusaders in Fiji




Chiefs Super Rugby head coach Dave Rennie has named a team with five changes for this Friday’s match against the Crusaders in Suva, Fiji.

Rennie has named a formidable line-up for the first clash between the two teams this seaso and has made five changes to the starting fifteen that defeated the Reds 46-17 in New Plymouth in Round 11.

The balmy climate of Suva, Fiji is an apt venue for this Friday evenings Round 13 Super Rugby fixture between the Chiefs and the Crusaders.

It was at the same ANZ Stadium in Suva that these top two-placed New Zealand teams last met, with the Chiefs fending off their southern foes 23-13 in a spirited contest in July 2016.

There’s just one change in the forwards with Nathan Harris making his first start of the year at hooker. 25-year-old Harris, who re-signed this week with the Chiefs until 2019, made a welcome return to Super Rugby two weeks ago following a long injury layoff.

There are four changes to the backs with co-captain Aaron Cruden returning to start at first five-eighth. Anton Lienert-Brown, who also re-signed with the Chiefs this week, moves to second five-eighth from centre.

Sam McNicol is promoted from the bench to start in jersey 13 and Tim Nanai-Williams has fully recovered from a shoulder injury sustained against the Hurricanes in Round 3 to start on the right wing.

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


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

Replacements : 16. Hika Elliot , 17. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi , 18. Atu Moli, 19. Taleni Seu , 20. Liam Messam , 21. Jonathan Taumateine, 22. Stephen Donald , 23. Shaun Stevenson

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