Follow all the action on the RugbyPass live blog from the Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Brumbies at FMG Stadium Waikato.
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In a bid to maintain an unbeaten start to the new season, Chiefs head coach Warren Gatland has wrung a total of nine changes to the starting team that blitzed the Sunwolves in Tokyo last week.
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Fan favourite Adam Thomson, early All Blacks contender Lachlan Boshier and barnstorming rookie Dylan Nel have all made way to accomodate for concussion returnee Luke Jacobson, skipper Sam Cane and Fijian No. 8 Pita Sowakula.
There is a further five changes in the backline, with Brad Weber again demoted to the bench in place of fellow Kiwi international Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, who resumes his halves partnership with Aaron Cruden after Kaleb Trask undertook the playmaking duties at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium.
— Gallagher Chiefs (@ChiefsRugby) February 20, 2020
Promising midfielder Quinn Tupaea drops to the bench as Anton Lienert-Brown returns from a rest week, and two new wings will come into the fray in the form of Sam McNicol and Sean Wainui, who have usurped Solomon Alaimalo and Shaun Stevenson for starting roles.
The Brumbies, meanwhile, have sprung three changes of their own to their starting team following last week’s late defeat at the hands of the Highlanders in Canberra.
Head coach Dan McKellar has called on the services of hooker Connal McInerney, who comes into the side in the place of hat-trick hero Folau Fainga’a as a result of a toe injury.
The Wallabies rake is one of two casualties in the Brumbies’ camp this week, as wing Tom Wright has fallen victim to a mumps outbreak that has broken within the squad.
Three further switches have been made on the bench, as McInerney’s promotion to the starting team has resulted in a reserves spot for Lachlan Lonergan.
Elsewhere, exciting teenage prospect Reesjan Pasitoa has been dropped as the back-up playmaker in favour of Bayley Kuenzle, and former Chiefs speedster Toni Pulu fills the void left by Muirhead on the pine.
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