Bay of Plenty's forward strength continues to impress at Super Rugby level with five players selected in the 23-man Chiefs squad to take on the Stormers in a vitally important game in South Africa on Sunday morning (1.05am NZT).
It is a rare occurrence for so many Steamers to be in the forward line-up with Nathan Harris and Tyler Ardron to start the game and Liam Polwart, Jeff Thwaites and Jesse Parete set for lengthy game time off the bench in the physically intimidating Newlands stadium in Cape Town.
It would have been six Steamers but for an unfortunate abdominal injury to Sam Cane that has left the Chiefs without their captain and outstanding openside flanker.
The downside is the Gallagher Chiefs selectors ignored all the backline talent displayed with so much style and success by Bay of Plenty in last year's Mitre 10 Cup - it remains a selection anomaly.
The Chiefs are certainly fired up to face the Stormers after a hugely disappointing loss to the in-form Jaguares in Rotorua last Friday night.
It is always an intriguing battle in Cape Town. The teams met in the quarterfinal of last year's competition, when a 76th minute try to Shaun Stevenson gave the Chiefs victory by 17-11.
Chiefs coach Colin Cooper has had plenty to work on this week from the Jaguares game and is excited about the focus the team has shown.
"We took a lot of learnings from the Jaguares, particularly on our attack. We know what to expect from the Stormers and have been focused this week," he said.
"The team travelled smoothly and have come over here wanting to do really well."
Cooper admits losing his talisman leader in Cane is a big blow but says it has opened up an opportunity for other players to showcase their abilities on and off the field.
"Losing Sam Cane is always going to be a loss for any team, but alongside Sam is the leadership group led by Charlie Ngatai. It has given an opportunity for a number of young men to step up and come into this contest in South Africa, which is exciting for them and for us coaches to watch."
In the forwards, Cooper has brought All Blacks Harris and Brodie Retallick back into the starting line-up, moving Canada international Ardron from lock into his favourite No 8 jersey.
In the backline, both Brad Weber and Anton Lienert-Brown will start in their 50th games for the Chiefs.
"Getting to 50 games for each of these two men is a good reward for their commitment to the Chiefs rugby club for a number of years," Cooper said.
"Both have displayed Chiefs mana each time they've played and it is great to be involved with them as a coach."
Johnny Fa'auli returns to the side, and the exciting wing/fullback Stevenson comes back from an injury sustained against the Blues in the second round.
Meanwhile, the Stormers have named an unchanged line-up from the squad that beat the Bulls last week.
The Stormers will be looking to make it six straight wins at Newlands this season, following victories against the Jaguares, Blues, Reds, Rebels and Bulls.
Gallagher Chiefs team:
1. Karl Tu'inukuafe, 2. Nathan Harris, 3. Angus Ta'avao, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Michael Allardice, 6. Luke Jacobson, 7. Liam Messam, 8. Tyler Ardron, 9. Brad Weber, 10. Damian McKenzie, 11. Solomon Alaimalo, 12. Johnny Fa'auli, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 14. Toni Pulu, 15. Charlie Ngatai (c).
Substitutes: 16. Liam Polwart, 17. Sam Prattley, 18. Jeff Thwaites, 19. Jesse Parete, 20. Pita Gus Sowakula, 21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22. Marty McKenzie, 23. Shaun Stevenson.