Messam, Fa'auli in for rugby's Chiefs

May 24, 2017 - 5:14 AM The Chiefs have made three changes to their starting line-up for Friday's all-Kiwi Super Rugby derby with the Blues in Auckland.

Club veteran Liam Messam is back in the No.8 jumper, replacing rested Japanese Test skipper Michael Leitch. Lachlan Boshier comes onto the bench in place of Messam.

Johnny Fa'auli returns to the midfield after last month's suspension for a dangerous tackle, pushing All Black Anton Lienert-Brown from inside to outside centre.

Concussed trio Charlie Ngatai, Stephen Donald and Sam McNicol will all sit out the clash as they follow return-to-play protocols, while speedster Toni Pulu is nursing a hamstring injury.

The Chiefs, sitting equal second in the New Zealand conference, have won their past 11 fixtures against the Blues, who are all but eliminated from the finals race.

A victory over their Auckland-based rivals would go a long way towards securing second in the conference and a trip to Australia instead of South Africa.


Damian McKenzie, Tim Nanai-Williams, Anton Lienert-Brown, Johnny Fa'auli, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden (co-capt), Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam, Sam Cane (co-capt), Mitchell Brown, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Nepo Laulala, Nathan Harris, Kane Hames.

Res: Hika Elliot, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Atu Moli, Taleni Seu, Lachlan Boshier, Jonathan Taumateine, Solomon Alaimalo, Shaun Stevenson.

Source: AAP

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