Super Rugby

Chiefs hand Geldenhuys first start against Waratahs

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Chiefs Super rugby head coach Warren Gatland has named a team with several changes to the starting team to play the Waratahs at Wollongong.

Bay of Plenty prop Ross Geldenhuys will run out for his first start in the Chiefs jersey, replacing Atu Moli who has been ruled out due to illness.

Geldenhuys will be joined by weekly start Aidan Ross and hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho who moves from the bench into the starting jersey.

The locking duo of Michael Allardice and Tyler Ardron will complete a strong tight five. Lachlan Boshier returns from his break to start in the number six jersey in place of Luke Jacobson.

Chiefs captain Sam Cane remains at seven alongside the powerful Pita Gus Sowakula at number eight.

An experienced halves pairing of Brad Weber and Aaron Cruden will respectively start at nine and ten. In a competitive tussle for midfield starting spots, All Black midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown will move to second five-eighth, making way for Tumua Manu who will return from injury to start at centre.

The back three will see Sean Wainui return to the left wing, Shaun Stevenson start on the right wing and Solomon Alaimalo complete a dynamic backline.

In the reserves, Counties Manukau hooker Donald Maka will be set to make his Super Rugby debut. Rookie Ryan Coxon moves into the twenty-three in jersey number seventeen. Alex Nankivell will be the only remaining change to the reserves slotting into jersey number twenty-three.

Gatland said the team want to deliver an improved performance.

“We were disappointed with our performance against the Brumbies in front of our fans. On Friday we want to get our campaign back on track. The boys are eager to get back out on the field and deliver an improved performance. We know that our starts need to be sharper, so that is a focus heading into this game.”

“It should be a competitive hit out on Friday, so it is great to have the likes of Tumua returning from injury. He is a powerful midfielder and we are excited to see him in action again. It will also be a special moment for Donald Maka. He has been training hard and we are pleased to reward him for this,” finished Gatland.

Chiefs

15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross

Replacements: 16 Donald Maka, 17 Ryan Coxon, 18 Reuben O’Neill, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Lisati Milo Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Alex Nankivell

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