Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World

Chiefs face tough start to Cooper era

By Online Editors

Trending on RugbyPass

More News More News

The new look Chiefs have a massive task ahead as they travel down to AMI Stadium for a rematch of last year’s semifinal.


The Chiefs are entering a new era under Colin Cooper, with Damian McKenzie finally getting his chance in the No 10 jersey.

McKenzie will be looking to outdo his opposite and former schoolboy rival Richie Mo’unga as the pair compete for a spot in the All Blacks 23 over the course of the season.

Mo’unga finished last year an All Black and will be looking to tighten his grip on the black jersey.

Read more

Maestro Mo’unga vs Mighty Mouse


Crusaders new dynasty just beginning

Regular Chiefs midfielder Charlie Ngatai will captain his side from fullback, with youngsters Shaun Stevenson and Solomon Alaimalo on the wings.

Another notable position change is lock/flanker Taleni Seu moving to Number 8. Of the 24-year-old Auckland product, Colin Cooper said “I like his skill, speed and power off the back of the scrum”. Sam Cane is co-captain at openside and Mitchell Brown starts at blindside ahead of Liam Messam.

Scott Robertson’s defending champion Crusaders side features nine All Blacks with 281 test caps between them.


Ryan Crotty will captain the side, playing inside fellow All Black Jack Goodhue.

Up front, Wyatt Crockett and Michael Alaalatoa start at prop in place of injured regulars Joe Moody (shoulder) and Owen Franks (achilles). Sam Whitelock and Luke Romano get the nod at lock, while Jordan Taufua takes over at Number 8 following Kieran Read’s back surgery.

Flanker Billy Harmon is in line for a Super Rugby debut off the bench.

1. Aidan Ross, 2. Nathan Harris, 3. Nepo Laulala, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Dominic Bird, 6. Mitchell Brown, 7. Sam Cane (C), 8. Taleni Seu, 9. Brad Weber, 10. Damian McKenzie, 11. Solomon Alaimalo, 12. Johnny Fa’auli, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 14. Shaun Stevenson, 15. Charlie Ngatai (C).
Reserves: 16. Liam Polwart, 17. Atunaisa Moli, 18. Angus Ta’avao, 19. Liam Messam, 20. Lachlan Boshier, 21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22. Marty McKenzie, 23. Sean Wainui.

1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Michael Alaalatoa, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. Peter Samu, 7. Matt Todd (C), 8. Jordan Taufua, 9. Bryn Hall, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 11. George Bridge, 12. Ryan Crotty (C), 13. Jack Goodhue, 14. Seta Tamanivalu, 15. David Havili.
Reserves: 16. Ben Funnell, 17. Chris King, 18. Oliver Jager, 19. Scott Barrett, 20. Billy Harmon, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Mitchell Hunt, 23. Manasa Mataele.


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
TRENDING Mtawarira posts new Genge message 18 months after critical tweet Mtawarira posts new Genge message 18 months after critical tweet