When injuries are keeping you off the paddock, mentoring the young talent is the next best way to make an impact.

That's been the case for the wingers in the Chiefs squad this season, as Sean Wainui is learning to play a new position on the fly.

A midfielder by trade, Wainui has been spending time on the wing with Tim Nanai-Williams (shoulder), Toni Pulu (shoulder) and Shaun Stevenson (knee) all out injured.

While veterans Nanai-Williams and Pulu have had their seasons limited, Wainui said he had been tapping into their knowledge to learn to play the position better.

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"I'm learning a lot. The confidence is getting there," Wainui said. "You do more running too. I've lost a bit of [kilograms] running around. But it's good, it's getting me fitter and a bit wiser with the game."

The 22-year-old was named to play on the wing when the Chiefs meet the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.

Wainui lines up in an unchanged backline from the Chiefs' loss to the Hurricanes last week, but coach Colin Cooper has made a host of changes up front.

Prop Karl Tu'inukuafe comes into the starting squad in place of the injured Aidan Ross, while Liam Polwart replaces Nathan Harris at hooker. Tyler Ardron returns to the squad at lock, while impressive youngster Pita-Gus Sowakula will pack in at the pack of the scrum in the No8 jersey.

On the bench, Samisoni Taukei'aho gets his first chance of the season while ex-Blues prop Sam Prattley was set to make his debut for the club. Brad Weber also joins the squad on the after missing last round due to a wrist injury.

"Playing the Reds in Brisbane will be a tough assignment," Cooper said. "We've worked really hard with the leaders on having the right mindset. The Reds have a number of threats, with their loose forwards, midfielders and outside backs all big carriers of the ball. We need to put everything on the line for this game, with a bit of a break coming in the form of a bye next week".

Chiefs: Charlie Ngatai (cc), Sean Wainui, Anton Lienert-Brown, Johnny Fa'auli, Solomon Alaimalo, Damian McKenzie, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Pita-Gus Sowakula, Sam Cane (cc), Lachlan Boshier, Tyler Ardron, Brodie Retallick, Angus Ta'avao, Liam Polwart, Karl Tu'inukuafe. Reserves: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Sam Prattley, Jeff Thwaites, Luke Jacobson, Liam Messam, Brad Weber, Marty McKenzie, Alex Nankivell.