Chiefs playmaker Aaron Cruden has been given the all-clear to play against the Highlanders in Dunedin when Super Rugby resumes on Friday night.

Cruden left the field with an Achilles tendon injury after a superb 23-minute performance for the All Blacks against Ireland in the third test in Hamilton at the weekend.

Afterwards he revealed he had aggravated a long-standing Achilles injury - he has been bothered by both since late last year - and was a doubt to play for his table-topping team.

His inclusion is a boost as the Chiefs look to regain their momentum after the three-week test break.


Sam Cane, who impressed at openside flanker in his first test start at Waikato Stadium, has been named on the reserves bench, the No7 jersey awarded to Tanerau Latimer.

Tim Nanai-Williams returns from injury to play on the wing.

Chiefs team to play Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Friday, kick-off 7.35pm, is: Robbie Robinson, Tim Nanai-Williams, Jackson Willison, Sonny Bill Williams, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Kane Thompson, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick, Craig Clarke (c), Ben Tameifuna, Mahonri Schwalger, Toby Smith. Reserves: Hika Elliot, Sona Taumalolo, Michael Fitzgerald, Sam Cane, Brendon Leonard, Andrew Horrell, Lelia Masaga.