Cane pain for desperate Chiefs
The Chiefs, desperate for the elusive point that will secure them the NZ conference, have been forced to make changes to the team to play the Blues.
The Chiefs, desperate for the elusive point that will secure them the New Zealand conference, have been forced to make changes to the team to play the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday.
A head knock has seen star loose forward Sam Cane named on the bench for the defending champion Chiefs' final round-robin Super Rugby match.
Coach Dave Rennie says Cane wasn't able to train this week.
"He did a bit of stuff yesterday [Wednesday] to get the full clearance," the coach said.
Tanerau Latimer will start at openside flank, while co-captain Liam Messam returns from injury at blindside flank.
Other changes will see Robbie Robinson and Lelia Masaga start on the wings, while Tim Nanai-Williams and Andrew Horrell will take the field at outside centre and fullback respectively.
Toby Smith starts at prop in the other change in the forwards while there are three changes in the backs
Rennie knows this is an important game for his team, as one point will secure the New Zealand Conference for the Chiefs.
"We are obviously pretty disappointed with our performance last week," he said of the 15-43 loss to the Crusaders, adding: "But we are excited about the opportunity to redeem ourselves.
"We know these are traditionally big clashes and know the Blues will want to put in a big performance in their final game of the season."
Chiefs: 15 Andrew Horrell, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Robbie Robinson, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 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 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Gareth Anscombe, 22 Asaeli Tikoirotuma.
Date: Saturday, July 13
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Garrett Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)