Chiefs team named for blockbuster clash
The Gallagher Chiefs, refreshed from bye week, are ready to face rivals the Hurricanes this Saturday in Wellington at the earlier kick-off time of 2.35pm.
Clayton McMillan has again selected an experienced team to play this top-of-the-table clash that will test his unbeaten side. Choosing to maintain continuity, there are only three changes to the starting lineup this week.
All Black Samisoni Taukei’aho, who this week has re-signed for another four years with the Gallagher Chiefs, is supported in the front row by Aidan Ross and George Dyer. This sees John Ryan and Ollie Norris shift to make an impact from the bench, along with Bradley Slater.
The consistent locking duo of Brodie Retallick and Tupou Vaa'i remain unchanged with Naitoa Ah Kuoi as support.
Pita Gus Sowakula moves to start in the loose forwards with Sam Cane and Luke Jacobson who commands his position in No.8 once again.
Sowakula's shift to the starting lineup will see Samipeni Finau start off the bench, as will the dynamic backline trio of Cortez Ratima, Bryn Gatland and Peniasi Malimali, who made his debut against the Rebels in round four.
2:35pm is our new kick-off time for Saturdays clash vs @Hurricanesrugby— Gallagher Chiefs (@ChiefsRugby) April 11, 2023
Bring your red black and yellow to support the lads for some arvo footy 👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/kcnL7x7CCb
Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Clayton McMillan said: “The team is looking forward to getting back out on the field this weekend. They have returned to work fresh and eager to get back into the grind.
"We have prepared well for the Hurricanes, they are a formidable team, have the best stats in a number of key areas, sit top of the table, and have our full respect.
“We are happy with how we are tracking, but know we have a lot more left in us, and this week's game is an opportunity to take another step forward. It will be a real arm wrestle and one I know both teams will be up for."
Gallagher Chiefs team to face the Hurricanes:
1 Aidan Ross (66)
2 Samisoni Taukei'aho (69)
3 George Dyer (13)
4 Brodie Retallick (120)
5 Tupou Vaa'i (35)
6 Pita Gus Sowakula (59)
7 Sam Cane (CC, 142)
8 Luke Jacobson (54)
9 Brad Weber (CC, 115)
10 Damian McKenzie (101)
11 Etene Nanai-Seturo (34)
12 Rameka Poihipi (20)
13 Daniel Rona (3)
14 Emoni Narawa (10)
15 Shaun Stevenson (73)
16 Bradley Slater (43)
17 Ollie Norris (34)
18 John Ryan (6)
19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi (39)
20 Samipeni Finau (23)
21 Cortez Ratima (15)
22 Bryn Gatland (27)
23 Peniasi Malimali (1)
.@Hurricanesrugby move to 🔝 spot!— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 9, 2023
We're set for a juicy match up in Round 8 as they go head to head with @ChiefsRugby!#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/7F07AHEOlX