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Where: Waikato Stadium
When: 06.35 (GMT)
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The Chiefs have named their team to play the Highlanders in their first home match of the Super Rugby season with Mahonri Schwalger returning to the starting line up.
Following the Chiefs 10-18 victory over the Crusaders in Christchurch last week the Chiefs coaches have stuck with their policy of giving players a start when depth prevails.
This process sees Pauliasi Manu start at loosehead prop and Jamie Mackintosh move to the replacements bench and Mahonri Schwalger will make his long awaited return to rugby since sitting out the 2013 ITM Cup.
Lock Matt Symons and flanker Nick Crosswell come into the starting line-up, joined by Tanerau Latimer with Liam Messam moving into the No 8 spot.
Tawera Kerr-Barlow has recovered from a rolled ankle to start at halfback and the back line remains the same.
After blooding in seven new Chiefs last week, including five Super Rugby debutants, the Chiefs will increase that number with Liam Squire having his chance to make his debut off the bench.
The new additions to the replacements this week are hooker Rhys Marshall, prop Josh Hohneck and Tevita Koloamatangi.
Chiefs Coach Dave Rennie said, “I was really impressed with the passion and the physicality that the Highlanders played with last week. I really felt they out muscled and out enthused the Blues, so it will be another entertaining New Zealand derby match on Saturday night.”
Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph has been forced into making four changes to the team that beat the Blues for this weekend’s match.
Brad Thorn was injured in last week’s clash with the Blues and is unavailable due to a rib injury for weeks so Jarrad Hoeata moves into the tighthead lock.
Joe Wheeler who is returning from a compound fracture in his finger starts in the loosehead lock position and John Hardie is back in the starting XV.
Joseph has shuffled the backline to cover injured winger Patrick Osborne sees Malakai Fekitoa move to the left wing and Winston Stanley into centre.
This will be Stanley’s debut for the Highlanders after playing for the Western force in 2012 and 2013.
Brayden Mitchell and Matias Diaz move into the front row reserve positions with Trent Renata coming onto the bench as well.
1. Pauliasi Manu, 2. Mahonri Schwalger, 3. Ben Tameifuna ,4. Michael Fitzgerald, 5. Matt Symons, 6. Nick Crosswell, 7. Tanerau Latimer , 8. Liam Messam, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10. Aaron Cruden (c), 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12. Charlie Ngatai , 13. Robbie Fruean,14. Tim Nanai-Williams , 15. Mils Muliaina
1 – Kane Hames , 2 – Liam Coltman , 3 – Chris King , 4 – Jarrad Hoeata , 5 – Joe Wheeler , 6 – Gareth Evans , 7 – John Hardie , 8 – Nasi Manu (co-captain) , 9 – Aaron Smith , 10 – Lima Sopoaga , 11 – Malakai Fekitoa , 12 – Shaun Treeby , 13 – Winston Stanley, 14 – Richard Buckman , 15 – Ben Smith (co-captain)
Replacements : 16 – Brayden Mitchell, 17 – Matias Diaz, 18 – Craig Millar, 19 – Josh Bekhuis, 20 – Shane Christie, 21 – Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 – Trent Renata, 23 – Phil Burleigh
Replacements :16. Rhys Marshall, 17. Jamie Mackintosh, 18. Josh Hohneck, 19. Tevita Koloamatangi, 20. Liam Squire, 21. Brad Webber ,22. Andrew Horrell, 23. James Lowe