Selection shake-up for Chiefs
Selection shake-up for ChiefsSHARE
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made several changes to the team to play the Reds in their Super Rugby encounter at Waikato Stadium on Saturday.
Ben Tameifuna starts at prop, with Michael Fitzgerald retaining his position at lock while Craig Clarke edges closer to a return.
The loose forward trio of Sam Cane, Tanerau Latimer and Liam Messam start, with Messam captaining the side from the No.8 position.
Tim Nanai-Williams returns from injury to start on the wing.
Fritz Lee moves to the bench and he is joined by prop Michael Kainga, who gets a chance to play his first Super Rugby match off the bench.
The Chiefs coach, Rennie, said he is "enthusiastic" about the earlier kick-off in an afternoon fixture.
"It will be great to be playing with a bit of sun on our backs and ideal for families," he said.
"The early kick-off time makes it a fantastic opportunity to bring the kids along."
Rennie warned his charges about the dangers posed by the Reds.
"The Reds are a high quality side that has got some world class players," he said, adding: "I have been impressed by what I saw of them against the Highlanders.
"We got toweled up against them last year so it is going to be a hell of a challenge."
Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Tim Nanai William, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 August Pulu, 8 Liam Messam (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith..
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Michael Kainga, 18 Nick Crosswell, 19 Fritz Lee, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Andrew Horrell, 22 Patrick Osborne.
Date: Saturday, April 13
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 16.35 (18.35 AEST; 04.35 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant referees: Nick Briant, Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri
TMO: Ben Skeen