Chiefs make seven changes for Hurricanes
July 2, 2014
Bundee Aki has been benched as one of six backline changes for the Chiefs © Getty Images
The Chiefs have made seven changes to their starting side to face the Hurricanes as they bid to keep alive the fading bid for a hat-trick Super Rugby titles in Hamilton on Friday.
Gone from the line-up that started the 29-25 loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin last Friday are backs Gareth Anscombe, Dwayne Sweeney, Robbie Fruean, Bundee Aki, Augustine Pulu and loose-head prop Pauliasi Manu, while Tom Marshall moves from left wing to fullback.
Asaeli Tikoirotuma returns on the right wing after playing for Fiji in their record-breaking Rugby World Cup qualifier against Cook Islands, with James Lowe, Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai and Tawera Kerr-Barlow joining him in the revamped backline.
Jamie Mackintosh replaces of Manu in the only change to the pack.
Manu, Pulu, Anscombe and Aki are on the bench alongside rookie tight-head Nick Barrett.
The Chiefs are ninth on the ladder ahead of their final home fixture of the regular season, and they must win if they are to hold any chance of contesting the play-offs. Tanerau Latimer, Tikoirotuma and Aki are set to farewell the home crowd having signed to play overseas.
Chiefs: Tom Marshall; Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai, James Lowe; Aaron Cruden (captain), Tawera Kerr-Barlow ; Liam Squire, Tanerau Latimer; Brodie Retallick, Mike Fitzgerald; Ben Tameifuna, Mahonri Schwalger, Jamie Mackintosh. Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Pauliasi Manu, Nick Barrett, Matt Symons, Tevita Koloamatangi, Agustine Pulu, Gareth Anscombe, Bundee Aki.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics
Salary caps, Saints, sinners and scrums - Monday Maul looks back at the key talking points from an eventful weekend
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14