Donald the Chiefs' midfield bolter

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 20:28

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Veteran All Black Stephen Donald will start at inside centre when the Chiefs face the Stormers in their Super Rugby quarterfinal showdown at Newlands on Saturday.

His inclusion is one of six changes - some forced - made by coach Dave Rennie.

Donald comes in for injured centre Seta Tamanivalu, who has been ruled out by a knee injury.

Anton Lienert-Brown moves from inside to outside centre.

Tom Sanders has been handed the No.8 jersey as the Chiefs also shuffled the back row to cover the expected absence of Liam Messam.

The Chiefs had pushed their luck with SANZAR, but Messam was ruled out of the play-offs because he opted to chase a spot in the New Zealand Sevens team heading for the Olympics and did not play Super Rugby.

However, when he lost out on a spot in the national Sevens team, he dashed back to the Chiefs.

Messam, who was not a member of the original Super Rugby squad handed to SANZAR back in February, featured in just two late-season matches and not the required four.

The Chiefs knew the regulations, but still asked for dispensation, which was denied.

Sanders moves from blindside flank to the back of the scrum, with Taleni Seu stepping claiming the No.6 jersey.

Brad Webber will start at scrumhalf, while Sam Nicol will play on the right wing.

There are also changes on the bench - with Mitchell Graham recovering from a hamstring injury to re-join the matchday 23. Tevita Koloamatangi could make his first appearance in 2016, having been sidelined for most of the season with injuries.

Among those not considered for selection are Nepo Laulala, Mitchell Karpik, Pauliasi Manu, Sam Henwood, Johan Bardoul, Glen Fisiiahi, Maama Vaipulu, Michael Allardice, Michael Leitch, James Tucker, Charlie Ngatai, Seta Tamanivalu, Andrew Horrell, Hiroshi Yamashita, Augustine Pulu (All Blacks Sevens).

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sam McNicol, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Stephen Donald, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (7co-captain), 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18 Mitchell Graham, 19 Tevita Koloamatangi, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Toni Pulu, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Date: Saturday, July 23
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT; 05.00, Sunday July 24 NZ time)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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