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Ladder-leading Chiefs name team to play Highlanders

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

The ladder-leading Chiefs have made four changes to their starting XV as they prepare to take on the winless Highlanders at Hamilton’s FMG Stadium on Friday.


After starting their campaign with big wins over the Crusaders and Moana Pasifika, the Chiefs will look to maintain their unbeaten start to the season in round three.

The Chiefs have made three changes to their starting forward pack for the match which kicks-off at 7:05pm NZT on Friday.

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All Black Aidan Ross returns to the starting side after missing last weekend’s Super Round clash at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.

Ross will pack down in the front row alongside world-class No. 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, and Irish prop John Ryan who comes into the starting side as well.

The former Ireland international made his Super Rugby Pacific debut off the bench against the Crusaders in round one, and is set for his first start on Friday.

As for the rest of the tight five, Test duo Brodie Retallick and Tupou Vaa’i have retained their spots in the starting side again this week.



There is one change in the backrow with Pita Gus Sowakula moving to the bench. In his place, Naitoa Ah Kuoi will start at blindside flanker.

The Chiefs have named a familiar looking backline for the New Zealand derby, with the only change coming on the right wing.

Outside back Emoni Narawa is set to play his first Super Rugby Pacific match of the season after being named to start in the No. 14 jumper.


All Blacks Pita Gus Sowakula and Josh Ioane headline a strong bench for the Chiefs, which includes a potential debutant in Daniel Rona.


Chiefs team to take on the Highlanders

  1. Aidan Ross
  2. Samisoni Taukei’aho
  3. John Ryan
  4. Brodie Retallick
  5. Tupou Vaa’i
  6. Naitoa Ah Kuoi
  7. Sam Cane (cc)
  8. Luke Jacobson
  9. Brad Weber (cc)
  10. Damian McKenzie
  11. Etene Nanai-Seturo
  12. Rameka Poihipi
  13. Alex Nankivell
  14. Emoni Narawa
  15. Shaun Stevenson



  1. Bradley Slater
  2. Ollie Norris
  3. George Dyer
  4. Pita Gus Sowakula
  5. Samipeni Finau
  6. Cortez Ratima
  7. Josh Ioane
  8. Daniel Rona


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