INTERNATIONAL

Chiefs-Reds team news ahead of Super Rugby face-off

Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper has reshuffled his forwards ahead of their final regular season game against the Reds on Friday at FGM Stadium.

Nepo Laulala will start at tighthead with Sosefu Kavtai joining the bench as cover in jersey number 18. Tyler Ardon combines with Jesse Parete in a formidable locking duo with Mitchell Brown ruled out with a knee injury.

Sam Cane will start at six and Lachlan Boshier at seven, moving Mitchell Karpik to the bench in jersey number 20. Pita Gus Sowakula will complete the forward pack starting at number 8. The only change to the exciting Chiefs backline sees Alex Nankivell starting at inside-center in place of Antonlin Lienert- Brown who earns a week off with all blacks leave.

On reserve bench, Samisoni Taukeiaho moves on to the bench in place of Liam Polwart who has been ruled out with Concussion.

Counties Manukau Lock Daymon Leasuasu is set to make his Super Rugby debut in jersey number 19. Utility back Jack Debreczeni returns to the fold alongside Scan Wainui named on the bench in jersey 22 and 23 respectively. Loosehead prop Aidan Ross and Scrum half Te Tuiroa Tahurio range retain in their positions in the reserves.

Their opponents St. George Queensland Red have made three changes to their starting 15 for the Friday’s clash in Hamilton. Prop Harry Hoopert will start in the front row, while captain Samu Kereri has been rested for this match in accordance with rugby Australia’s workload management policy

In the absence of Kerevi, lock Izack Rodda will skipper the side as Duncan Paia’aua replaces Kerevi at 12. Seb Willeman will make this Super Rugby debut at outside centre after Chris Feauai- Sautia was ruled out with a knee injury.

There are a further five changes on the bench with the long-awaited return of versatile Prop Feao Fotuaiko from a broken thumb. Adam Korczyk and Teti Tela have been recalled into Queensland 23 while Scrumhalf Scott Maloua and outside back Liam Mc Namara could potentially make their Queenland’s debut off the bench.

Chiefs: 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Tumua Mano, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Etene Nanai – Seturo, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Sam Cane (c), 5 Tyler Ardon, 4 Jesse Parete, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Atu Moli

Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukeilaho, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Daymon Leasuasu, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriarangi, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Sean Wainui.

Reds: 15 Matt Gahan, 14 Jack Campell, 13 Seb Willeman, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Sefa Naivalo, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate Mc Dermote, 8 Angus Scott, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lokhan Salakaia, 5 Angus Blyth, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Harry Hoopert.

Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga, 17 Feao Fotuaika, 18 Ruan Smity, 19 Adam Korczyk, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Teti Tela, 23 Liam Mc Namara.

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