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Chiefs change three for Brumbies clash

The Chiefs await a huge business end of the season clash against the Brumbies this Saturday at FMG Stadium Waikato.

The game bears significance with the Chiefs fighting to secure a Super Rugby playoff spot. It is their first game back at home after the International June break and they will be looking to carry on the tremendous form that saw them run rampant in Suva against the Highlanders last weekend, winning 45-22.

Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper hopes his side can bring last weekend’s confidence into this game and looks forward to the fantastic support from our home fans.

“W are hoping to build the confidence and excitement from the Highlanders game and take that into the Brumbies game this weekend.

Both teams are great attacking teams, playing with a lot of confidence. It’ll be a great spectacle and our home fans can give us the edge we need.”

Their Canberra based opposition played valiantly last weekend to secure a 24-12 win against the Hurricanes. Cooper knows they’ll be a real threat and highlighted Wallabies loose forward David Pocock as one to watch.

“The Brumbies are coming here with confidence after beating the Hurricanes. They have an outstanding loose forward in Pocock who will be a real threat. They have a great lineout and are always a threat on attack.”

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There’s only one change to the forward pack from the team that beat the Highlanders, with All Blacks hooker Nathan Harris returning to the fold after the birth of his first child.

“It’s good to have Nathan back. We are pleased he could spend time with his partner and his first child. He’s really excited and raring to go” says Cooper.

In the backline, Anton Lienert-Brown is rested as part of his All Black commitments with Sean Wainui moving to his natural position of centre. Exciting winger Shaun Stevenson gets the chance to impress with a start on the wing. Continuity is key with Brad Weber and Damian McKenzie again linking up in the nine and ten jerseys and Solomon Alaimalo continues at fullback, after a highly impressive showing last weekend.

At this time in the season, every point counts in the fight for the playoffs and Cooper knows the crowd can help spur the team on.

“We can’t wait for the crowd to come and support us and help us get over the line and into the quarter finals. It’ll be great to have their vocal support this weekend.”

CHIEFS

1. Karl Tu’inukuafe, 2. Nathan Harris, 3. Angus Ta’avao, 4. Michael Allardice, 5. Tyler Ardron, 6. Luke Jacobson, 7. Sam Cane (C), 8. Liam Messam, 9. Brad Weber, 10. Damian McKenzie, 11. Shaun Stevenson, 12. Charlie Ngatai, 13. Sean Wainui, 14. Toni Pulu, 15. Solomon Alaimalo.

Reserves: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17.  Sam Prattley, 18. Jeff Thwaites, 19. Jesse Parete, 20. Lachlan Boshier, 21.Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22. Marty McKenzie, 23. Johnny Faauli.

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Chiefs change three for Brumbies clash