Chiefs make 7 changes for Crusaders Semi-final

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made seven changes to the team that beat the Blues for their Super Rugby Semi-final match against the Crusaders at Waikato Stadium on Saturday.

Andrew Horrell and Charlie Ngatai are the starting midfield pair and are joined by Asaeli Tikoirotuma on the wing and Gareth Anscombe at fullback.

Rhys Marshall comes onto the bench replacing Mahonri Schwalger who is kept out this week with a knee injury and is joined by prop Ben Afeaki, Bundee Aki and Robbie Robinson.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie acknowledges that hosting this game is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people and that his side is excited by the challenge and looking forward to playing in front of their family, friends and fans.

“We had an enormous amount of injuries in the first half of the campaign. So to win our conference and finish top seed speaks volumes for the culture and depth of our squad.

“But at this stage of the season, seeding’s and previous results count for little. Success for us comes down to a willingness to scrap hard for each other for 80 minutes. The reward, a home final and a shot at another title,” said Rennie.

There will be a moments silence at the beginning of the match to remember New Zealand rugby player Willie Halaifonua from the Takapuna Rugby Club who passed away this week.

Chiefs

1.Toby Smith , 2.Hika Elliot , 3.Ben Tameifuna , 4.Craig Clarke (c) , 5.Brodie Retallick , 6.Liam Messam , 7.Tanerau Latimer , 8.Matt Vant Leven , 9.Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10.Aaron Cruden , 11.Asaeli Tikoirotuma , 12.Andrew Horrell , 13.Charlie Ngatai , 14.Lelia Masaga , 15.Gareth Anscombe

Replacements : 16.Rhys Marshall , 17.Ben Afeaki , 18.Michael Fitzgerald , 19.Sam Cane , 20.Augustine Pulu , 21.Bundee Aki , 22.Robbie Robinso

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