Hamilton – Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper has made seven alterations to the starting XV that took to the field against the Sharks last weekend.
The Chiefs host the Waratahs at Waikato Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 09:35 SA time)
In front, All Blacks Nathan Harris and Brodie Retallick return to the No 2 and No 4 jerseys respectively, while exciting flanker Mitchell Karpik gets a start at No 7, while Veteran Liam Messam will wear the No 8 jersey.
Damian McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown return to the backline after time at the All Blacks camp, and Toni Pulu starts at right wing. It’s a first chance this season to see the midfield pairing of Charlie Ngatai and Lienert-Brown in action together, which fans can get excited about.
Newest All Blacks recruits Karl Tu’inukuafe and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi both feature in the match-day 23, with Karl starting at loosehead prop and Te Toiroa on the bench.
Cooper commented on their determination to take all opportunities offered this season.
“Karl and Te Toiroa are two guys that have put their hands up and have got opportunities through injuries and their form, and they’re now All Blacks. They’ve done really well.”
15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Toni Pulu,
13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Charlie Ngatai (captain), 11 Sean Wainui, 10
Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Mitch Karpik, 6 Luke
Jacobson, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2
Nathan Harris, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni
Taukei’aho, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Matt
Matich, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Shaun Stevenson
Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele
Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7
Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Will Miller, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom
Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.
16 Tolu Latu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Jed Holloway,
20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Bryce Hegarty