Masaga faces fitness Test while Latimer battles on

Chiefs flanker Tanerau Latimer has revealed that he has been playing through to the final with a series of injury niggles and Lelia Masaga faces a late fitness Test for the final against the Brumbies in Hamilton.

Latimer has been in a selection battle with Sam Cane but in recent weeks he has been named in the starting line up.

The flanker had heavy bruising on his calf which put him in doubt for last week’s Semi-final but he managed to play in the game.

In order to give his injury niggles some time to rest Latimer missed out training sessions this week.

Latimer has been heavily praised by Chiefs co-captain Craig Clarke for his ferocious hard work at the breakdown.

Clarke said that Latimer’s selection battle with Cane for the number seven jersey has been “awesome”

“He’s a real catalyst for us,” Clarke told NZ Newswire.

“He hadn’t trained all week, he’s got a massive big bruise down his leg but he gutsed it out. He epitomises what Chiefs mana is all about.

“And the battle he has with Sam to start each week is something awesome.”

Meanwhile winger Leila Masaga faces a fitness test to see if he can play in this weekend’s Super Rugby final

The Chiefs are not expected to make many changes to the team that beat the Crusaders last weekend.

The only area of debate appears to be who will start at tighthead as Ben Tameifuna started last week, but Ben Afeaki came on as a replacement.

Forwards coach Tom Coventry told Newstalk ZB that Ben Afeaki has better endurance than Tameifuna and provides a spark defensively.

Coventry does however say that both players are equally important.

Coventry added that players who come off the bench give the team great impact and although everyone wants to start the modern game is a 22 man game.

The Chiefs have named the same backline in consecutive weeks just once this season which shows how much rotation they use.

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