Rugby: Retallick cleared to play for Chiefs

Liam Messam. Photo / Getty Images.
Liam Messam. Photo / Getty Images.

The Chiefs have made six changes to the starting side to play the Crusaders at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday and lock Brodie Retallick has been cleared of concussion to play.

Retallick was initially in doubt this week with suspected concussion but passed all the required tests.

Liam Messam returns and will be joined by Tanerau Latimer and Liam Squire in the No 8 jersey. Tawera Kerr-Barlow starts at halfback and winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma returns after two weeks out with a knee injury. Pauliasi Manu starts at prop.

Four changes have been made to the bench, with Jamie Mackintosh, Sam Cane, Matt Symons and Augustine Pulu all added to the reserves.

Latimer will play his 100th Chiefs match, becoming the second person behind Messam to achieve the feat in the Chiefs' 18-year history.

Latimer is also one of a small group of players who has represented New Zealand in three black jerseys when he played for the All Blacks, the Maori All Blacks and All Black Sevens, winning a Commonwealth gold medal with them.

The Chiefs lead the New Zealand conference and are third overall, while the Crusaders are one point behind the Highlanders and third in the New Zealand conference.

"The Crusaders are a bloody good side with good players that we respect,'' Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said. ``It is a big occasion being Lats' 100th match for the Chiefs and the boys rate him highly so they are keen to front for him.''

Chiefs team to play the Crusaders at Hamilton Stadium on Saturday (7.35pm): Tom Marshall, Tim Nanai-Williams, Andrew Horrell, Bundee Aki, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Gareth Anscombe, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Squire, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam (c), Brodie Retallick, Michael Fitzgerald, Ben Tameifuna, Rhys Marshall, Pauliasi Manu. Reserves: Nathan Harris, Jamie Mackintosh, Josh Hohneck, Matt Symons, Sam Cane, Augustine Pulu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jordan Payne.

- APNZ

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