Chiefs bench their Tongan torpedo

Wed, 11 Jul 2012 12:11
Large arizona taumalolo 630 Large taumalolo 630

The Chiefs have benched their Tongan torpedo, prop Sona Taumalolo for their crucial Super Rugby encounter with the Hurricanes on Friday.

The Chiefs have benched their Tongan torpedo, prop Sona Taumalolo for their crucial Super Rugby encounter with the Hurricanes on Friday.

Coach Dave Rennie has named Toby Smith at loosehead prop, but Taumalolo - who will join Perpignan on a three-and-a-half-year deal at the end of the season - will play his 50th game for the Chiefs if he comes off the bench.

Crowd favourite Taumalolo is not only the Chiefs’ top try scorer, who is also joint third on the Super Rugby list - behind André Taylor (Hurricanes, 10 tries) and Bjorn Basson (Bulls, nine). Taumalolo and Sharks wing Lwazi Mvovo have both touched down eight times.

Rennie has made a few other changes to his side, including starting Robbie Robinson on the wing and Andrew Horrell moving back to fullback.

Jackson Willison returns to the No.13 Jersey, with captain Craig Clarke back in the line up for the crucial match.

The Chiefs, although being ensured of winning the New Zealand conference, need a bonus-point win to wrap up first place on the standings - which brings with it a bye in the first round of the play-offs, home ground advantage in the semifinals and also home advantage in the Final ... if they advance.

Chiefs: 15 Andrew Horrell, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Robbie Robinson, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Sona Taumalolo, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams.

Date: Friday, July 13
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Keith Brown (New Zealand)
TMO: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Tue, 27 June 2017
Hurricanes v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Fri, 30 June 2017
Sharks v Bulls 17h00 Kings Park, Durban
Sat, 01 July 2017
Jaguares v Kings 23h05 Buenos Aires
New Zealand v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Stormers 13h05 Bloemfontein
Lions v Sunwolves 15h15 Ellis Park Stadium
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 6 0 7 33
Waratahs 13 4 0 9 19
Force 13 4 0 9 17
Reds 13 3 0 10 17
Rebels 13 1 1 11 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 14 14 0 0 63
Hurricanes 14 11 0 3 54
Chiefs 14 11 1 2 53
Highlanders 14 10 0 4 46
Blues 14 7 1 6 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 30
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19
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