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
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28