Chiefs: Sweeney to start at fullback

Dave Rennie has opted for just one alteration to his side seeking a Super Rugby semifinal place, with Dwayne Sweeney (r) to start at fullback in place of Tom Marshall. Photo / Getty.
Dave Rennie has opted for just one alteration to his side seeking a Super Rugby semifinal place, with Dwayne Sweeney (r) to start at fullback in place of Tom Marshall. Photo / Getty.

With continuity in selection bringing about a playoff place, it's no surprise to see a largely unchanged Chiefs team named to tackle the Brumbies this weekend.

Dave Rennie has opted for just one alteration to his side seeking a Super Rugby semifinal place, with Dwayne Sweeney to start at fullback in place of Tom Marshall for Saturday night's clash in Canberra.

Plagued by injuries for much of the campaign, the Chiefs earned a pair of vital victories over the Blues and Hurricanes with a settled side featuring only one change between games.

And Rennie has again entrusted the majority of the same players for Saturday's qualifier, aside from a curious decision in the back three. Marshall enjoyed a couple of solid outings at fullback in recent weeks, managing to lead the Chiefs in metres this season despite limited time in his natural position.

The Tasman man instead drops to the bench in place of Sweeney, a wing who is making his first start at fullback since returning to the Chiefs following a stint in Japan.

Gareth Anscombe loomed as an obvious replacement in the No 15 jersey if the Chiefs coaches felt inclined to make a switch, but the former Blues man also finds himself on the bench.

Elsewhere, Mahonri Schwalger, the only real injury concern, has shaken off a dislocated shoulder to start in the No 2 jersey. The hooker sustained the injury against the Blues last weekend but initially played on, recovering this week to take his place in the team.

Chiefs team to play Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday night:

Dwayne Sweeney, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Tim Nanai-Williams, Bundee Aki, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden (c), Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Squire, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick, Mike Fitzgerald, Ben Tameifuna, Mahonri Schwalger, Jamie Mackintosh.
Reserves: Nathan Harris, Pauliasi Manu, Nick Barrett, Matt Symons, Tevita Koloamatangi, Augustine Pulu, Gareth Anscombe, Tom Marshall.

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