Chiefs named for semifinal in Cape Town

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IN FORM: Damian McKenzie sparks another Chiefs attack from fullback against the Highlanders last week. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES 230716sp19BOP
IN FORM: Damian McKenzie sparks another Chiefs attack from fullback against the Highlanders last week. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES 230716sp19BOP

Super rugby

The thrills and spills of finals footy is upon us this weekend, with eight teams battling it out to secure a place in the 2016 Investec Super Rugby semifinals.

There can be only one winner tomorrow (5am, NZ time) in Cape Town when the Gallagher Chiefs take on an unpredictable Stormers side in their sudden death quarterfinal match.

The Chiefs 2016 Super Rugby title aspirations rest with 23 determined and courageous men who will empty the tank in their hunt for victory over the South Africa Conference 1 winners.

Head coach Dave Rennie has made six changes to the starting fifteen which suffered a frustrating loss to the Pulse Energy Highlanders last Saturday.

In the forwards the tight five remains the same with Kane Hames, Nathan Harris, Atu Moli, Dominic Bird and Brodie Retallick primed for the intense physicality synonymous with South African forward packs.

In the loose forwards, Tom Sanders moves to the back of the scrum with Taleni Seu to start at blindside flanker. Sam Cane will lead the pack in jersey seven.

In the backs, Brad Weber has earned the start at halfback with co-captain Aaron Cruden continuing his leadership at first five-eighth. In the midfield Stephen Donald comes into the starting fifteen to don jersey 12, with Anton Lienert-Brown shifting to centre after regular starter Seta Tamanivalu injured his knee last weekend.

The back three sees James Lowe and Damian McKenzie retain their positions on the left wing and at fullback respectively, while Sam McNicol is promoted from the bench to start in jersey 14.

There are several changes in the reserves with Mitchell Graham recovering from a hamstring injury to re-join the playing 23. Tevita Koloamatangi could make his first Investec Super Rugby appearance in 2016 having been sidelined for most of the season with injuries.

Experienced All Black Tawera Kerr-Barlow is a real threat off the bench alongside Toni Pulu and Shaun Stevenson who complete the back cover.

Chiefs team v Stormers, Cape Town, tomorrow, 5am NZ time
1. Kane Hames (7)
2. Nathan Harris (21)
3. Atu Moli (9)
4. Dominic Bird (9)
5. Brodie Retallick (69)
6. Taleni Seu (16)
7. Sam Cane (80) co-captain
8. Tom Sanders (13)
9. Brad Weber (40)
10. Aaron Cruden (71) co-captain
11. James Lowe (35)
12. Stephen Donald (90)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (22)
14. Sam McNicol (10)
15. Damian McKenzie (31)
Reserves:
16. Hika Elliot (102)
17. Siegfried Fisi'ihoi (9)
18. Mitchell Graham (24)
19. Tevita Koloamatangi (7)
20. Lachlan Boshier (6)
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (65)
22. Toni Pulu (11)
23. Shaun Stevenson (4)

- Bay of Plenty Times

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