Ton up for Chiefs' legend
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Fan favourite and inspirational team man Stephen 'Beaver' Donald will start in his 100th game for the Chiefs.
The 33-year-old will become just the fourth player in Chiefs history to achieve this rare feat, joining Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam and Hika Elliot in the exclusive milestone team.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie said Donald deserves to run out in front of a vast and boisterous crowd when he takes the field against the Waratahs this Saturday.
"Stephen Donald's already a Chiefs legend. Adored by his teammates and fans alike, he is a special and passionate Chiefs man who has had a prolific on-field career.
"Come and join the party, crack open a Waikato and help us raise a toast to Beaver, the hard-working good bugger," said Rennie.
The Chiefs are thirsty for a win on home soil when they host the Waratahs. Rennie has made just two changes to the starting XV who recorded their first ever draw against the Blues at Eden Park last Friday.
The changes see Stephen Donald don jersey No.12 for his 100th match and speedster Toni Pulu start on the right wing.
Of note in the reserves is the inclusion of 22-year-old Bay of Plenty hooker Liam Polwart. The former New Zealand Under-20s representative is line to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench.
Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Stephen Donald, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams, 23 Solomon Alaimalo.
Date: Saturday, June 3
Venue: FMG Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 AEST; 05.05 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Richard Kelly (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)