Chiefs reveal strong team for Final
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan has named his team to face the Crusaders in the Super Rugby Aotearoa Final on Saturday.
A formidable front row has been named with loosehead prop Aidan Ross, hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho and tighthead Angus Ta’avao lining up to start.
Locking duo of Tupou Vaa’i and Mitchell Brown will complete the tight five, with Naitoa Ah-Kuoi covering on the bench.
A powerful loose forward combination will see Pita Gus Sowakula shift from No.8 to the blindside, Lachlan Boshier will don the No.7 jersey and Luke Jacobson will return at No.8.
In the backs, Chiefs scrumhalf Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi shifts to the bench as cover with the return of co-captain Brad Weber. Weber will combine with flyhalf Bryn Gatland who gets the nod in the No.10 jersey.
Alex Nankivell and All Blacks midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown will once again combine in the midfield. Electrifying wings of Etene Nanai-Seturo and Jonah Lowe return to the left and right wings. Playmaker Damian McKenzie will complete an impressive starting fifteen at fullback.
Last weekend’s starting front row of hooker Bradley Slater and propping duo of Ollie Norris and Sione Mafileo retain their spot in the twenty-three.
Following an impressive Super Rugby Aotearoa debut last weekend, loose forward Zane Kapeli has been named on the bench in jersey No.20. Exciting utility back cover of Rameka Poihipi and Chase Tiatia will be called upon to inject their energy off the bench.
Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Jonah Lowe, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Pita Gus Sowakula, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Zane Kapeli, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Rameka Poihipi, 23 Chase Tiatia.
Date: Saturday, May 8
Venue: Addington Showgrounds, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.05 (07.05 GMT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant referees: James Doleman, Paul Williams
TMO: Brendon Pickerill