Kerr-Barlow start, Leitch benched
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Chiefs have named a team that shows three changes, for their Super Rugby semifinal showdown with the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.
The formidable forward pack that contributed to the 60-21 demolition of the Stormers in Cape Town last week remains unchanged.
In the backs experienced All Black Tawera Kerr-Barlow will start at scrumhalf this week.
He will get support from Aaron Cruden at flyhalf.
Anton Lienert-Brown moves to inside centre, with the explosive Seta Tamanivalu returning from injury to start at outside centre.
The exciting trio of James Lowe, Sam McNicol and Damian McKenzie complete the backline.
The forwards consist of Kane Hames, Nathan Harris and Atu Moli in the front row.
Dominic Bird and Brodie Retallick continue their dominant locking partnership, with Taleni Seu, Tom Sanders and Sam Cane forming a hard-working loose forward trio.
However, Japan's World Cup captain and Chiefs workhorse Michael Leitch - who has been sidelined with a dislocated thumb since May - returns to provide some impact off the bench.
Players not considered for selection include Nepo Laulala, Mitchell Karpik, Pauliasi Manu, Sam Henwood, Johan Bardoul, Glen Fisiiahi, Maama Vaipulu, Michael Allardice, James Tucker, Charlie Ngatai, Andrew Horrell, Stephen Donald (all injured) and Augustine Pulu (All Black Sevens).
With physical and psychological warfare to ensue, referee Angus Gardner will play a crucial role.
Victory will belong to the side who can maintain composure and thrive on the pressure of play-off rugby.
Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sam McNicol, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 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 Lachlan Boshier, 20 Michael Leitch, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Toni Pulu, 23 Shaun Stevenson.
Date: Saturday, July 30
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)