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Big Ben unleashed on Crusaders

Wed, 03 Jul 2013 09:42
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They will be desperate
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Chiefs coach Dave Rennie made four changes to the team to play the Crusaders in a Super Rugby blockbuster in Christchurch on Friday.

Ben Tameifuna, who has been a thorn in the Crusaders' side in recent encounters, comes into the front row - replacing Ben Afeaki at tighthead prop.

Sam Cane starts ahead of Tanerau Latimer at openside flank.

It means Cane will face off against Matt Todd in the battle of the All Black openside flanks.

In the backline Charlie Ngatai has been named at outside centre in place of Tim Nanai-Williams, while Patrick Osbourne gets another chance on the right wing against his former franchise.

Lelia Masaga drops out of the match day 22, while Afeaki, Latimer and Nanai-Williams have all been included on the bench.

The match will be Tim Nanai-Williams 50th match for Chiefs.

This all-New Zealand derby is one of the most anticipated matches of the Super Rugby round robin competition - with both teams coming off solid wins last week.

Rennie described the Crusaders as a "quality" side.

"They will be desperate, so we know they are going to be huge challenge down in Christchurch," Rennie added.

The Chiefs will secure top spot in the New Zealand conference if they come away with at least a point, or if the fifth-placed Crusaders fail to win with a bonus point.

Chiefs: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Patrick Osborne, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Tanerau Latimer, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Andrew Horrell, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams.

Date: Friday, July 5
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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