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Chiefs name nine All Blacks in starting XV to play Hurricanes

By Ned Lester
Daniel Rona of the Chiefs celebrates after scoring a try . (Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images)

The Chiefs host the Hurricanes in what could be a huge confidence booster ahead of the Supr Rugby Pacific playoffs, and also dictate which of the top four teams claim a home semi-final.

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Ticket sales for the contest project a near-sellout crowd at FMG Stadium, a venue the Chiefs are yet to lose at in 2024 and the Hurricanes have not won at since 2020.

It’s a familiar starting XV that has been named, with five All Blacks in the backline and four more in the forwards.

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The Hurricanes have boasted a titanic scrum in 2024 and while they will be without All Black Tyrel Lomax this weekend, the scrums will be a monstrous challenge for the Chiefs’ front row of Aidan Ross, Samisoni Taukei’aho and George Dyer.

“The team can’t wait to play at home in front of our passionate support base,” Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan said.

“We know there will be a lot of interest in the game given the Hurricanes’ success this year, and I’m sure those who get along will be treated to an epic battle.

“There are some excellent individual matchups, and we were collectively beaten to the punch in our first encounter. You want to be playing your best in these derby fixtures and at the business end of the season, so there will be no lack of motivation from either side.”

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The coach emphasised the need for consistency of selection with the playoffs just two weeks away, highlighting the unchanged starting XV named for this week’s contest.

“We have selected a largely unchanged side from our game against the Rebels. Although we made progress in a couple of areas, we were largely underwhelmed by our own performance and continuity of selection gives an opportunity for those involved to make the necessary shifts required,” said McMillan.

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Chiefs team to play the Hurricanes

1. Aidan Ross
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho
3. George Dyer
4. Manaaki Selby-Rickit
5. Tupou Vaa’i
6. Simon Parker
7. Kaylum Boshier
8. Luke Jacobson (captain)
9. Cortez Ratima
10. Damian McKenzie
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo
12. Quinn Tupaea
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Emoni Narawa
15. Shaun Stevenson

Reserves:
16. Tyrone Thompson
17. Jared Proffit
18. Sione Ahio
19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi
20. Wallace Sititi
21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
22. Josh Ioane
23. Rameka Poihipi

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Unavailable for selection: Kaleb Trask, Ollie Norris, Samipeni Finau, Josh Lord, Malachi Wrampling, Gideon Wrampling, and Reuben O’Neill.

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