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Donald leads Chiefs against Wales

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Former All Black Stephen Donald has been named as captain of the Chiefs Super Rugby team to play Wales at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton.

The match is not part of the Chiefs Super Rugby season and is a historic mid-week match which will feature a stirring haka to mark the historical significance of the Chiefs match against Wales.

In an evening of firsts, it will be the only time in the Clubs 20-year history that the haka has been performed by the Chiefs prior to kickoff and the first time the team will play an international touring side.

It will also be the first time 22-year-old Taranaki loose forward Mitchell Brown will pull on the Chiefs jersey, starting at blindside flanker in his debut game alongside five of his Taranaki teammates.

With eight of the Chiefs unavailable due to All Blacks commitments, remaining players have the opportunity to impress and push their case for selection as the business end of the Investec Super Rugby season draws near.

In the forwards, Mitchell Graham, Rhys Marshall and Hiroshi Yamashita will don jerseys 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

Experienced locks Dominic Bird and Michael Allardice partner in the second row, with Mitchell Brown, Lachlan Boshier and Tom Sanders forming the loose forward trio.

It is Boshier’s first start in what will be his third match for the two-time Investec Super Rugby champions. In the backs, Brad Weber will start at halfback, with captain and veteran Stephen Donald getting his first start in 2016 at first five-eighth. The experience of Andrew Horrell will be put to good use in the mid-field alongside Anton Lienert-Brown who will don jersey 13.

The back trio consists of Sam Vaka and Toni Pulu on the wings, with James Lowe adding an exciting edge at fullback. Of special note in the reserves is the addition of Tevita Koloamatangi.

Loose forward Koloamatangi makes his first appearance for the Chiefs this season, overcoming several injury set-backs to get his opportunity off the bench.

Nepo Laulala, Mitchell Karpik, Johan Bardoul, Pauliasi Manu, Sam Henwood, Glen Fisiiahi, Chase Tiatia, Michael Leitch, Maama Vaipulu, James Tucker, Augustine Pulu (All Blacks Sevens) and Shaun Stevenson (New Zealand U20s) were all not considered for selection.

All Blacks Charlie Ngatai, Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Seta Tamanivalu, Nathan Harris, Aaron Cruden and Damian McKenzie were not available for selection.

Chiefs

1. Mitchell Graham , 2. Rhys Marshall , 3. Hiroshi Yamashita, 4. Dominic Bird , 5. Michael Allardice , 6. Mitchell Brown* 7. Lachlan Boshier , 8. Tom Sanders, 9. Brad Weber, 10. Stephen Donald, (c) 11. Sam Vaka , 12. Andrew Horrell , 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 14. Toni Pulu, 15. James Lowe

Replacements : 16. Hika Elliot , 17. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 18. Atu Moli , 19. Taleni Seu, 20. Tevita Koloamatangi, 21. Kayne Hammington , 22. Sam McNicol , 23. Latu Vaeno

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