Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has named his team to play the Lions in Hamilton and made two changes to the side that beat the Crusaders.
In the forwards, Maama Vaipulu gets the start at number 8, with Tom Sanders moving to blindside flanker.
Meanwhile in the backs, Latu Vaeno gets his first start on the right wing, with Shaun Stevenson forced to sit out the game due to a minor shoulder complaint.
In the replacements, Japan captain Michael Leitch is expected to make his highly anticipated return to Super Rugby, while former Warrior Glen Fisiiahi looks set to earn his first Super Rugby cap from the bench.
Gallagher Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie: “This is a big game for us. We play the Currie Cup Champions, a side who were unlucky not to make the Super Rugby Playoffs last year. ”
“While we were happy with the attitude and effort against the Crusaders, we know we can be more clinical and have learnt a lot about ourselves. It’s nice to get a bit of continuity from a selection point of view for our first outing at home.”
The match kicks off early at 5:15pm which suits the Chiefs as they depart on Sunday afternoon for a challenging two-week international jaunt. The team travels firstly to Port Elizabeth to play the Kings, then onto Argentina to take on newcomers the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.
Nepo Laulala, Mitchell Karpik, Andrew Horrell, Hika Elliot, Toni Pulu, Augustine Pulu, Dominic Bird, Sam McNicol, Shaun Stevenson and Tevita Koloamatangi were all not considered for selection.
1. Pauliasi Manu (46) , 2. Rhys Marshall (23) , 3. Hiroshi Yamashita (1) , 4. Michael Allardice (8) , 5. Brodie Retallick (60) , 6. Tom Sanders (1) , 7. Sam Cane (66) co-captain , 8. Maama Vaipulu (11) , 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (57) , 10. Aaron Cruden (57) co-captain , 11. James Lowe (22) , 12. Charlie Ngatai (32) , 13. Seta Tamanivalu (7) , 14. Latu Vaeno (1) , 15. Damian McKenzie (17)
Replacements:16. Nathan Harris (13) , 17. Mitchell Graham (12) , 18. Siate Tokolahi (18) , 19. Taleni Seu (1) , 20. Michael Leitch (13) , 21. Brad Weber (25) , 22. Anton Lienert-Brown (10) , 23. Glen Fisiiahi **
( ) = Chiefs caps in brackets
**denotes Super Rugby debutant