Chiefs welcome back captain Retallick
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper has selected a strong matchday-23 to face the Blues at FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday.
A new front-row combination packing down will have Angus Ta’avao move to loosehead prop for the injured Aidan Ross. Nathan Harris will remain at hooker and Nepo Laulala at tighthead.
Providing cover on the bench will be Tasman’s Ryan Coxon and tighthead Sosefo Kautai in jersey No.17 and 18 respectively.
Captain Brodie Retallick returns to combine with Tyler Ardron who will shift from No.8 to complete the tight five.
In-form flankers Luke Jacobson and Lachlan Boshier remain with Taleni Seu to start at No.8 to round out the forward pack.
Pita Gus Sowakula will hope to make an impact off the bench in his first game of the 2019 Super Rugby season and will be joined on the bench by Jesse Parete providing cover in jersey No.19.
The Chiefs backline remains unchanged from the side who faced the Jaguares in Argentina. Ataata Moeakiola returns from injury named in jersey No23. He will be joined by reserve halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and midfield cover Alex Nankivell.
Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick (captain), 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Angus Ta’avao.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Ryan Coxon, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Alex Nankivell, 23 Ataata Moeakiola.
Date: Saturday, April 13
Venue: FMG Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy (Australia), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)