Injuries impacting Chief's final match of the regular season

Author
NZ Herald, Radio Sport,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 11 July 2018, 8:19PM
Some of the Chiefs top players have been set aside. (Photo / Photosport)

LISTEN TO TABAI MATSON TALK WITH CRAIG CUMMING ABOVE

The Chiefs will take no risks with key players in their final match of the Super Rugby regular season.

After picking up knocks in last week's win over the Brumbies, Sam Cane (head) and Nathan Harris (leg) have been left out of Colin Cooper's 23-man squad to face the Hurricanes in Hamilton on Friday.

The Chiefs' decision to rest some key players comes as no real surprise after Cooper said earlier in the week Cane would be rested and players under injury concerns wouldn't be risked.

Assistant coach Tabai Matson said that was the case for Harris.

"He just got dinged up in the last encounter and didn't bounce back very well on Monday. We're kind of just looking after his wellbeing," Matson said.

"We've clearly got two more games left so when we can look after players at this time of the year we definitely will."

Damian McKenzie has also been left out of the squad to observe his final All Blacks stand-down week and will be replaced in the No10 jersey by his brother, Marty.

"Marty's been one of the key drivers of our game plan," Matson said. "We're really comfortable with what he's going to do on Friday night, and he's really confident."

It was one of eight changes made to the starting XV, with a number of players being rewarded for solid cameos with larger roles.

Sam Prattley replaces Karl Tu'inukuafe at tighthead prop with the All Black named on the bench; Liam Polwart starts at hooker; Brodie Retallick returns at lock, pushing Michael Allardice back to the bench; while Lachlan Boshier, Mitch Karpik and Jesse Parete make up the loose forwards trio.

On the bench, Tiaan Falcon returns in the back-up first five-eighth role.

Chiefs: Solomon Alaimalo, Toni Pulu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Charlie Ngatai, Shaun Stevenson, Marty McKenzie, Brad Weber, Jesse Parete, Mitch Karpik, Lachlan Boshier, Tyler Ardron, Brodie Retallick, Angus Ta'avao, Liam Polwart, Sam Prattley.

Reserves: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Jeff Thwaites, Michael Allardice, Liam Messam, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Tiaan Falcon, Johnny Fa'auli.

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