Chiefs ring the changes for Hurricanes

Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper has reshuffled his matchday 23 ahead of their Super Rugby derby against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

A new front-row of Atu Moli, Nathan Harris and Angus Ta’avao will start, with Moli at loosehead shifting Ta’avao to tighthead.

Harris returns to start with Liam Polwart named as reserve hooker. Lock Michael Allardice will captain the side in the absence of co-captain Brodie Retallick who is on All Blacks leave. The return of Allardice sees Tyler Ardron move back to number eight and Taleni Seu shift to the bench.

Two changes have been made in the backs with Solomon Alaimalo returning at full-back while Tumua Manu moves back to start at centre.

A reshuffle in the reserves bench sees the inclusion of loosehead prop Tevita Mafileo to the match day squad along with scrum-half Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, experienced fly-half cover Stephen Donald and midfield cover Alex Nankivell. Sosefo Kautai and Jesse Parete remain as tighthead and loose forward cover.

Cooper said he will be wanting his team to deliver an improved performance this weekend.

“This weekend we need to be more disciplined and alert if we are to be competitive,” he explained.

“We had a good tussle against the Hurricanes at home last month, we know this weekend will be no different. We need to ensure our defence systems are strong and we are quick to our feet. If we can combine that with patience and control on attack, we should be in a good space.”

Chiefs: 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Ataata Moeakiola, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Michael Allardice (c), 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Atu Moli Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Jesse Parete, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Alex Nankivell

Date: Saturday, April 27 Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT) Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa) Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand) TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)