The Chiefs have made four changes to their starting line-up as they prepare to battle the Bulls in Hamilton on Friday.

Taranaki-based prop Angus Ta'avao enters the front row for the injured Nepo Laulala, while teammate Mitchell Brown has recovered from his concussion and will partner All Black Brodie Retallick at lock.

Brown's switch to the engine room allows Lachlan Boshier a chance to start at blindside flanker, with Liam Messam switching to No.8.

Young gun Tiaan Falcon will again call the shots at first-five after a successful first Super Rugby game in his side's win over the Blues, meaning livewire Damian McKenzie will once again start at fullback.

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In the reserves, a couple of men could make their debuts off the bench, with Bay of Plenty's Jeff Thwaites covering tighthead prop.

Waikato midfielder Bailyn Sullivan has also been bracketed with Marty McKenzie, who must pass a fitness test to be selected.

Scores of regulars - including Laulala, Dominic Bird, Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai, Shaun Stevenson, Atu Moli and Kane Hames - are unavailable.

CHIEFS: Damian McKenzie, Sean Wainui, Anton Lienert-Brown, Johnny Fa'auli, Solomon Alaimalo, Tiaan Falcon, Brad Weber, Liam Messam, Sam Cane (c), Lachlan Boshier, Mitchell Brown, Brodie Retallick, Angus Ta'avao, Nathan Harris, Aidan Ross.

RESERVES: Liam Polwart, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Jeff Thwaites, Michael Allardice, Luke Jacobson, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Marty McKenzie/Bailyn Sullivan, Declan O'Donnell.

- NZN