All eyes on Ngatai in New Plymouth

Thu, 04 May 2017 06:56
Large charlie ngatai chiefs 2017 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Chiefs midfield sensation Charlie Ngatai makes his return to Super Rugby this weekend, starting at inside centre against the Reds at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth. 

It's a fitting venue for the 26-year-old to make his comeback in front of thousands of fans, many of whom have also enjoyed Ngatai’s thrilling performances for his provincial team Taranaki. 

The humble midfielder is not the only exciting addition to the Chiefs this week, with All Black hooker Nathan Harris being named in the reserves. The 25-year old has worked his way back from a knee injury sustained in August 2016 to make his first appearance this season. 
 
Anticipating a combative and astute Reds side, Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie has named an experienced playing 23. 

There are eight changes to the starting XV that defeated the Sunwolves 27-20 to record their eighth win of the season last Saturday. 

In the forwards, Brodie Retallick returns to the side as the sole change to the tight five. There's a reshuffle in the loose forwards with co-captain Sam Cane shifting from No.8 to openside flank. Mitchell Brown is promoted from the bench to start at blindside flank, and Michael Leitch returns to the 23 to start at No.8.
 
A dangerous backline awaits the Reds, with five All Blacks named to start. Tawera Kerr-Barlow returns to re-establish his partnership with co-captain Aaron Cruden in jerseys No.9 and No.10 respectively. Charlie Ngatai links up with Anton Lienert-Brown to form a formidable midfield combination, with James Lowe, Toni Pulu and Damian McKenzie completing the backline at 11, 14 and fullback. 

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Kane Hames.         
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Sam McNicol, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Date: Saturday, May 6
Venue: Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth
Kick-off: 19.35 (17.35 AEST; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 25 May 2017
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Ascoli Piceno
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19