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Key All Blacks return for Chiefs’ derby with Hurricanes

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

Co-captains Sam Cane and Brad Weber are back for the Chiefs this week as they look to bounce back from their surprising loss to the Queensland Reds last Friday.


The Chiefs have been sensational this season – starting the campaign with 10 wins on the bounce, before suffering the upset defeat to the Reds in New Plymouth.

But the Chiefs will be eager to return to the winners circle in round 13 when they host the high-flying Hurricanes at Hamilton’s FMG Stadium.

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Amongst the 10 changes to the starting XV, All Blacks Samisoni Taukei’aho, Brodie Retallick and Anton Lienert-Brown are also back for the ladder-leaders.

Expecting a “significant challenge” against the Hurricanes on Saturday, Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan has named a star-studded side for the highly anticipated New Zealand derby.

“We are excited to be back at FMG Stadium Waikato and hope our loyal supporters will be there in force again to support the team, McMillan said in a statement.

“Whilst the loss last weekend hurt, there is value if we are able to adjust and grow from the lessons we learned and that has been our focus this week.


“The Hurricanes pose significant challenge, particularly through their attack where they lead the competition in tries, clean breaks, defenders beaten, offloads, and post-contact metres – so we understand the challenge that’s coming and will need to be on.”

The Chiefs have named an all-new front row this week, which includes the return of world-class No. 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho. Aidan Ross and George Dyer will also pack down in the front row.


All Blacks centurion Brodie Retallick returns to the run-on side, and will combine with Tupou Vaa’i in the second row.

Captain Sam Cane is also back for the Chiefs, and will add plenty of experience to a formidable loose forward trio which includes Pita Gus Sowakula and Luke Jacobson.


In the backs, New Zealand internationals Brad Weber and Damian McKenzie will look to steer the Chiefs’ attack around the park as the halves.

Anton Lienert-Brown and Alex Nankivell will combine in the halves.

As for the outside backs, the Chiefs have named the electrifying trio of Etene Nanai-Seturo, Emoni Narawa and Shaun Stevenson.

The match is set to get underway at 7.05pm NZST at Hamilton’s FMG Stadium.

Chiefs team to take on Hurricanes

  1. Aidan Ross
  2. Samisoni Taukei’aho
  3. George Dyer
  4. Brodie Retallick
  5. Tupou Vaa’i
  6. Pita Gus Sowakula
  7. Sam Cane (cc)
  8. Luke Jacobson
  9. Brad Weber
  10. Damian McKenzie
  11. Etene Nanai-Seturo
  12. Anton Lienert-Brown
  13. Alex Nankivell
  14. Emoni Narawa
  15. Shaun Stevenson


  1. Tyrone Thompson
  2. Ollie Norris
  3. John Ryan
  4. Naitoa Ah Kuoi
  5. Simon Parker
  6. Cortez Ratima
  7. Josh Ioane
  8. Rameka Poihipi

Players not considered due to injury: Angus Ta’avao, Quinn Tupaea, Xavier Roe, Bryn Gatland, Samipeni Finau, Josh Lord, Gideon Wrampling, Ngatungane Punivai, Kaylum Boshier


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