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Chiefs reshuffle backline for Force after injury to All Black Stevenson

By Finn Morton
Shaun Stevenson of the Chiefs leaves the ground with an injury during the round ten Super Rugby Pacific match between NSW Waratahs and Chiefs at Allianz Stadium, on April 26, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Following the injury to one-Test All Black Shaun Stevenson, coach Clayton McMillan has reshuffled the Chiefs’ backline ahead of their clash with the Western Force on Friday night.

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Stevenson, who debuted for New Zealand in a thrilling Bledisloe Cup Test in Dunedin last year, pulled up with what appeared to be a sore hamstring after scoring a try in Sydney last week.

The Waratahs had raced out to a 12-nil lead, but Stevenson’s moment of individual brilliance helped breathe new life into the Chiefs side, but it came at a cost with the fullback limping off the field.

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Coach McMillan told reporters that night that Stevenson would likely miss “a couple of weeks” which starts with the Chiefs’ clash with the desperate Western Force at FMG Stadium Waikato in round 11.

Head-to-Head

Last 4 Meetings

Wins
4
Draws
0
Wins
0
Average Points scored
43
17
First try wins
75%
Home team wins
50%

With Stevenson seemingly out due to injury, Etene Nanai-Seturo shifts from wing to fullback with utility Daniel Rona set to fill that hole in the run-on side by wearing the No. 11 jersey.

All Black Quinn Tupaea also comes into the starting side at inside centre.

In the forwards, Samisoni Taukei’aho is out of the match-day 23 with Bradley Slater earning a promotion into the First XV. Naitoa Ak Kuoi also replaces the injured Jimmy Tupou.

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On the bench, Kauvaka Kaivelata is in line to debut.

With the Force sitting last on the ladder, the men from out west will be eager to begin their ascent into the top eight with a win over the high-flying Chiefs.

This upcoming fixture in Perth is set to get underway at 7:05 pm NZT on Friday night.

Chiefs team to take on Western Force

  1. Aidan Ross
  2. 2. Bradley Slater
  3. George Dyer
  4. Naitoa Ah Kuoi
  5. Tupou Vaa’i
  6. Samipeni Finau
  7. Kaylum Boshier (c)
  8. Wallace Sititi
  9. Cortez Ratima
  10. Damian McKenzie
  11. Daniel Rona
  12. Quinn Tupaea
  13. Anton Lienert-Brown
  14. Emoni Narawa
  15. Etene Nanai-Seturo

Replacements

  1. Tyrone Thompson
  2. Ollie Norris
  3. Kauvaka Kaivelata*
  4. Manaaki Selby-Rickit
  5. Luke Jacobson
  6. Simon Parker
  7. Xavier Roe
  8. Josh Ioane
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