Chiefs shift McKenzie...again
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Chiefs will be hoping to have another electrifying crowd at Waikato Stadium when they host the Hurricanes on Friday.
Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan has made six changes to his matchday 23 to face the Hurricanes.
Only one change has been made to the Chiefs starting forward pack after Luke Jacobson was ruled out with concussion. Pita Gus Sowakula shifts to start at No.8, with Samipeni Finau looking to make an impact off the bench.
In the backs, Bryn Gatland will direct the backline at flyhalf, with playmaker Damian McKenzie shifted back to the No.15 jersey, seeing utility back Chase Tiatia onto the bench as cover.
Māori All Blacks midfielder Rameka Poihipi will be hoping to make his Chiefs debut off the bench in jersey No.22.
McMillan highlighted the tightness of the competition and that wins are currently down to moments.
“The team were pleased to have won last week as it kept us alive in an extremely tight competition. Small moments are determining the outcome of games and we have been on the right side of the ledger in recent weeks. Conversely, the Hurricanes have been really unlucky and are a far more formidable side than what the points table indicates.”
Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Jonah Lowe, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Samipeni Finau, 20 Kaylum Boshier, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Rameka Poihipi, 23 Chase Tiatia.
Date: Friday, April 23
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.05 (07.05 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe, Mike Fraser
TMO: Glenn Newmann