Rugby: Donald, Umaga return for Chiefs

Stephen Donald. Photo / Getty Images
Stephen Donald. Photo / Getty Images

The return of veteran midfielder Tana Umaga and fellow backs Brendon Leonard and Stephen Donald are among five changes in the Chiefs' starting 15 for the Super rugby match against the Melbourne Rebels in Hamilton on Saturday night.

Umaga was today named at second five-eighth after sitting out the defeat to the Highlanders last weekend.

His inclusion means Dwayne Sweeney moves to centre, with Jackson Willison dropping out of the 22.

Halfback Leonard and first-eighth Stephen Donald are restored to the run-on side after both came off the bench at Carisbrook.

Leonard is in for Tawera Kerr-Barlow, who has been left out of the 22, with Taniela Moa being selected as back-up halfback.

Donald, who will make his 75th appearance for the Chiefs, swaps jerseys with Mike Delany.

In the forwards, injury has forced two changes, with prop Toby Smith (knee) and lock Hayden Triggs (back) both unavailable.

Their replacements are Ben May and Craig Clarke.

Also sidelined with injury are loose forwards Colin Bourke (shoulder) and Fritz Lee (knee).

The match will the first at Waikato Stadium this season for the Chiefs, who are winless after two rounds.

"We have had two tough weeks on the road, made tougher with not getting the results we wanted," coach Ian Foster said.

"However, we are making good progress and we are very determined to play well at our first home game this year."

Chiefs side:
1. Ben May, 2. Aled de Malmanche, 3. Nathan White, 4. Craig Clarke, 5. Isaac Ross, 6. Scott Waldrom, 7. Tanerau Latimer, 8. Liam Messam, 9. Brendon Leonard, 10. Stephen Donald, 11. Sitiveni Sivivatu, 12. Tana Umaga, 13. Dwayne Sweeney, 14. Lelia Masaga, 15. Mils Muliaina (Captain).

Reserves: 16. Sona Taumalolo, 17.Hika Elliot, 18. Romana Graham, 19. Steven Setephano, 20. Taniela Moa, 21. Mike Delany, 22. Tim Nanai-Williams.

- NZPA

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