Super Rugby: Chiefs host Hurricanes in a New Zealand derby at Waikato Stadium
Last Updated: 27/06/13 2:42pm
NZC leaders and Super Rugby champions the Chiefs host the Hurricanes in a New Zealand derby at Waikato Stadium on Friday in what is sure to prove an emotional evening.
The clash - which is being shown live on Sky Sports 3 HD at 8.35am BST - is the official farewell match of Chiefs' co-captain Craig Clarke and players Lelia Masaga, Richard Kahui, Brendon Leonard and Toby Smith.
Several players in Dave Rennie's side are returning from injury. In the forwards, Ben Afeaki starts at prop and Ben Tameifuna moves to the bench.
Tim Nanai-Williams comes in at centre and Lelia Masaga starts on the wing, while on the bench Andrew Horrell makes his comeback from the reserves and is joined by Charlie Ngatai.
Opponents the Hurricanes have named two new faces in their back three, with Matt Proctor and James Marshall joining Julian Savea.
Karl Lowe is the only other addition in the openside jersey to the starting 15 from when the Hurricanes last played against the Brumbies, suffering a 30-23 defeat.
On the bench, Blade Thomson has been bracketed with Faifili Levave (foot). If Thomson is included in the 22 and takes the field, he will be making his Hurricanes and Super Rugby debut.
Alapati Leiua, who has just returned from international duties with Samoa, rounds out the bench.
Players unavailable include Andre Taylor (shoulder), Tim Bateman (knee), Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (knee), Motu Matu'u (arm) and Ardie Savea (away with NZU20s).
Chiefs: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (c), 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Andrew Horrell, 22 Charlie Ngatai.
Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Reynold Lee-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 Mark Reddish, 19 Faifili Levave / Blade Thomson, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Tusi Pisi, 22 Alapati Leiua.
Super Rugby 2013 Round 18
The Bulls all but wrapped up the SA conference after completing a clinical 48-18 victory over the Southern Kings.
A last-gasp try from Riaan Viljoen saw the Sharks beat the Blues 22-20 and dent their visitors' play-off hopes.
South African conference leaders the Bulls take on the struggling Southern Kings in the Super XV on Saturday.