Chiefs Super rugby head coach Warren Gatland has named a team with three changes to play the Blues at Eden Park and included Adam Thomson on the replacements bench for his 100th cap
Loosehead prop Reuben O’Neill joins the starting front row in place of starting loosehead prop Aidan Ross who has been side-lined with a calf strain following last weekend’s clash against the Highlanders.
The Chiefs elusive backline remains unchanged. In the reserves, young prop Ollie Norris joins the twenty-three alongside Taranaki halfback Lisati Milo-Harris.
Loose forward Adam Thomson will don jersey nineteen for his 100th Super Rugby appearance. Gatland said the side have once again prepared well for the derby.
“Last weekend we had the opportunity to finish the job off, but as we have seen in this competition you need to deliver an 80-minute performance, or longer in some instances and we didn’t do that. This week we are looking for that consistency, starting strong once again and then continuing to stay in the game and maintain our focus on what we can control.”
Unavailable for selection: Angus Ta’avao (quad), Naitoa Ah Kuoi (concussion), Aidan Ross (calf), Tiaan Falcon (knee).
Season ending: Atu Moli (hips), Laghlan McWhannell (knee), Luke Jacobson (hand), Michael Allardice (shoulder), Nathan Harris (shoulder), Ryan Coxon (thumb), Sam McNicol (ankle).
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Kaleb Trask, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Reuben O’Neill
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Quinn Tupaea