The Chiefs have called in Japan prop Hiroshi Yamashita and Counties flanker Sam Henwood to cover for season-ending knee injuries to Nepo Laulala and Mitchell Karpik.

Yamashita, 30, joins Japan World Cup teammate and captain Michael Leitch at the Chiefs.
Henwood, 24, was three months into his second season with Portuguese side Tecnico when he got the call from Chiefs coach Dave Rennie.

Rennie said: "Sam had an impressive ITM Cup and was unlucky not to be selected for a Super Rugby team. He's been playing in Portugal and is in good nick. Sam is ambitious, professional and excited to test himself at this level. Yama is an experienced international prop and has quickly made an impression since his arrival."

The loss of All Black prop Laulala, in particular, is a blow to the Chiefs, who open their season on Saturday in Christchurch against Laulala's former team the Crusaders.