Rugby: Tameifuna starts against Crusaders

Ben Tameifuna. Photo / Andrew Cornaga/
Ben Tameifuna. Photo / Andrew Cornaga/

Chiefs player Ben Tameifuna has been named at prop against the Crusaders ahead of his All Blacks teammate Ben Afeaki.

Tameifuna made a huge impact when coming on as a replacement against the Hurricanes in Hamilton at the weekend.

His scrummaging strength will be vital against an All Blacks-laden Crusaders pack keen to assert itself in Christchurch on Friday night for the match between the two top New Zealand sides.

The other changes by coach Dave Rennie see Sam Cane at flanker ahead of Tanerau Latimer, Charlie Ngatai in at centre ahead of Tim Nanai-Williams and Patrick Osborne on the right wing for Lelia Masaga. The match will be Nanai-Williams' 50th for the Chiefs.

Rennie said: "The Crusaders are a quality side. They will be desperate so we know they are going to be huge challenge down in Christchurch.''

Chiefs team to play the Crusaders at AMI Stadium on Friday, kick-off 7.35pm, is: Robbie Robinson, Patrick Osborne, Charlie Ngatai, Bundee Aki, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Matt Vant Leven, Sam Cane, Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick, Craig Clarke (c), Ben Tameifuna, Hika Elliot, Pauliasi Manu.

Reserves: Mahonri Schwalger, Ben Afeaki, Michael Fitzgerald, Tanerau Latimer, Augustine Pulu, Andrew Horrell, Tim Nanai-Williams.

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Tom Marshall, Ryan Crotty, Tom Taylor, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Tom Donnelly, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tyler Bleyendaal, Telusa Veainu.


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