The All Blacks' rest and rotation policy is set to benefit the Hurricanes this weekend, but the Chiefs won't be as fortunate when it comes to having their international stars available.

The Hurricanes play the Chiefs in Wellington on Saturday night, and will hope to improve on their sloppy performance against the Sunwolves.

The Hurricanes needed a 22-point rally to beat the Sunwolves in Tokyo last weekend, but did so without several All Blacks stars, who all return to the lineup after being rested.

Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea will all start for the Hurricanes after missing that Sunwolves clash, while Asafo Aumua starts at hooker and lock Kane La'aupepe returns after being out with illness last week.


Jordie Barrett will start at fullback, with Chase Tiatia moving to the wing in place of Ben Lam, who is out with a minor leg injury.

Hurricanes coach John Plumtree knows his side will need a better performance against the Chiefs.

"We know the character the side is showing us each week and we know we can get better and we will need to be against the Chiefs," he said.

The Chiefs can still call upon some players with experience in the All Blacks environment, but are missing two of their key international forwards. Brodie Retallick is on All Blacks leave, using his second rest week as he still recovers from injury, while prop Nepo Laulala is also out with a niggle.

Brodie Retallick is still out for the Chiefs. Photo / Getty
Brodie Retallick is still out for the Chiefs. Photo / Getty

That only further compounds the Chiefs' harsh injury luck with their All Blacks stars this season, with Damian McKenzie out for the year after rupturing his ACL, and Sam Cane having been sidelined all campaign with a neck injury.

A new front row of Atu Moli, Nathan Harris and Angus Ta'avao will start, with Moli at loosehead shifting Ta'avao to tighthead. Harris returns to start with Liam Polwart named as reserve hooker. Lock Michael Allardice will captain the side in the absence of Retallick, with Allardice's return seeing Tyler Ardron move back to number eight and Taleni Seu shift to the bench.

Two changes have been made in the backs with Solomon Alaimalo returning at fullback while Tumua Manu moves to centre.

A reshuffle in the reserves bench sees the inclusion of loosehead prop Tevita Mafileo to the 23 along with halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, experienced first five-eighth cover Stephen Donald and midfield cover Alex Nankivell. Sosefo Kautai and Jesse Parete remain as tighthead and loose forward cover.


Head coach Colin Cooper said he is wanting his team to deliver an improved performance on Saturday after their surprise loss to the Lions last weekend.

"This weekend we need to be more disciplined and alert if we are to be competitive. We had a good tussle against the Hurricanes at home last month, we know this weekend will be no different. We need to ensure our defence systems are strong and we are quick to our feet. If we can combine that with patience and control on attack, we should be in a good space."