Rugby: Cane left on bench for Chiefs

All Blacks flanker Sam Cane has made it only as far as the reserves bench for the Chiefs' team to play the Hurricanes in Hamilton on Friday night. Photo / Getty Images.
All Blacks flanker Sam Cane has made it only as far as the reserves bench for the Chiefs' team to play the Hurricanes in Hamilton on Friday night. Photo / Getty Images.

All Blacks flanker Sam Cane has made it only as far as the reserves bench for the Chiefs' team to play the Hurricanes in Hamilton on Friday night.

Cane has had a high workload over the past three weeks, playing every minute of the All Blacks tests against France in Auckland and Christchurch, and the majority of the New Plymouth match before being replaced by Matt Todd.

Tanerau Latimer, a former All Black, gets his chance in the No7 jersey for the Chiefs this week.

Coach Dave Rennie has named Ben Afeaki, who played several minutes for his All Blacks debut test at Eden Park, at tighthead prop, with Ben Tameifuna moving to the bench.

Tim Nanai-Williams comes in at centre after recovering from a stomach ulcer, with Lelia Masaga back on the wing. Andrew Horrell returns from an ankle injury to the reserves bench.

Rennie said: "The Hurricanes had a pretty good win against the Crusaders last week and will be buoyed by that.

Mathematically they are still in the competition and they have everything to play for.

"It will be pretty physical and as the weather is expected to play its part, you will see two positive sides on the field having a real arm wrestle.''

A victory will see the Chiefs overtake the first-placed Brumbies. The Australian teams don't play for the next fortnight due to the British and Irish Lions tour.

The Chiefs team to play the Hurricanes at Waikato Stadium on Friday, kick-off 7.35pm is: Robbie Robinson, Lelia Masaga, Tim Nanai-Williams, Bundee Aki, Aseali Tikoirotuma, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Matt Vant Leven, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick, Craig Clarke (c), Ben Afeaki, Hika Elliot, Pauliasi Manu. Reserves: Mahonri Schwalger, Ben Tameifuna, Michael Fitzgerald, Sam Cane, Augustine Pulu, Andrew Horrell, Charlie Ngatai.

- APNZ

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