Chiefs make big changes for Crusaders
NEWS: Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper has made a number of changes to the starting XV to face an in-form and unbeaten Crusaders line up on Saturday.
All Blacks Nathan Harris and Nepo Laulala will re-join to start in the front row alongside Aidan Ross. The return of Harris and Laulala means Samisoni Taukei’aho and Angus Ta’avao move to the reserves.
A new locking combination of Captain Brodie Retallick and Tyler Ardron will take the field with Michael Allardice being ruled out after sustaining an injury in training. Lachlan Boshier gets the nod as the starting No.7 ahead of Mitchell Karpik who has been named in the reserves.
In the backs inside centre Anton Lienert-Brown returns refreshed following his week off to combine in the midfield with centre Tumua Manu shifting Alex Nankivell to the bench. Fullback Solomon Alaimalo returns from injury to earn his first start of the season.
flyhalf Jack Debreczeni will be hoping to impress if given the opportunity to debut off the bench.
Chiefs: 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick (captain), 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Alex Nankivell.
Date: Saturday, March 9
Venue: Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch
Venue: 17.15 (04.15 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy (Australia), Nick Hogan (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)