The Chiefs will field a stronger squad for their clash against the Crusaders, despite succumbing to a few injuries during the week.

Warren Gatland's squad effectively switches the approach from last week where five All Blacks came off the bench. This week, Atu Moli comes in to start at tight head prop and joins Aiden Ross who played the full 80-minutes at Eden Park in an otherwise unchanged forward pack which will again have Sam Cane start in the No.8 jersey.

In the backs, Damian McKenzie has proved his fitness just in time for selection and secures a start at fullback while Aaron Cruden gets to play more of his general role with a start at first five.

All Black midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown will start, pairing with Quinn Tupaea who keeps his starting spot after debuting last week. Alex Nankivell is swapped onto the bench, where he joins Kaleb Trask and Brad Weber to complete what will be a 5/3 split between forwards and backs.

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Two names of note are missing, both Nepo Laulala and Angus Ta'avao injured, Laulala of particular concern after scans revealed a medial ligament injury which will sideline the 28-year old for six weeks.

Gatland says the injuries are unfortunate but said the attrition of Super Rugby will always bring injuries.

"That's rugby. Everyone was fit and raring to go a few weeks ago and now we have some injuries but it gives a great opportunity for others to step up and get some experience," Gatland said.

Gatland expects the intensity to rise for the Chiefs this week despite the injuries but stressed his team would respect that Crusaders who come into the clash as three-time defending Super Rugby champions.

"We've got to give players in this squad some game time but we've also got to show the Crusaders some respect, they've earned that and we need to go out there and prove ourselves against what's undoubtedly been the best side in the competition for the past few years".


The full Chiefs squad to take on the Crusaders:

1. Aiden Ross
2. Samasoni Taukei'aho
3. Atu Moli
4.Tyler Ardron
5. Mitch Brown
6. Lachlan Boshier
7. Mitch Karpik
8. Sam Cane
9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
10. Aaron Cruden
11. Solomon Alaimalo
12. Anton Lienert-Brown
13. Quinn Tupaea
14. Sean Wainui
15. Damian McKenzie

16. Billy Slater
17. Ross Geldenhuys
18. Ollie Norris
19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi
20. Pita Gus Sowakula

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