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The Gallagher Chiefs are determined to finish their South African tour on a winning note when they take on the Cheetahs at 3.05pm this Saturday in Bloemfontein. Co-captain Sam Cane is fully recovered from the concussion he sustained in his sides game against the Bulls two weeks ago and will start at openside flanker. 

 

Cane is one of six changes to the starting fifteen which lost 34-26 to a challenging Stormers side last Saturday in Cape Town, their first defeat of the 2017 Investec Super Rugby season. In the forwards, Brayden Mitchell earns his first start for the Gallagher Chiefs at hooker, while Taleni Seu is promoted from the bench to join Brodie Retallick in the second row. Mitchell Brown returns to the starting fifteen to wear jersey 6. 

 

In the backs, Anton Lienert-Brown shifts from centre to second five-eighth, with Sam McNicol making his first start for the season in jersey 13. Of note in the reserves is the inclusion of 20-year-old Tasman back  Alex Nankivell. The young midfielder made his Investec Super Rugby debut against the Stormers last Saturday, after joining the 23 as a late replacement for his Tasman teammate Finlay Christie. Christie had to withdraw from the match due to illness, but is back to full health this week and ready to add impact off the bench in jersey 21.

 

Following Saturdays Round 8 fixture, the Gallagher Chiefs head to Perth to take on the Western Force, before returning home to face the Sunwolves for the first time ever at FMG Stadium Waikato on 29 April.

 

The Gallagher Chiefs team to play the Cheetahs at 1.05am Sunday (NZT) is:

1.            Kane Hames (15)

2.            Brayden Mitchell (2)

3.            Atu Moli (17)

4.            Taleni Seu (23)

5.            Brodie Retallick (77)

6.            Mitchell Brown (7)

7.            Sam Cane (co-captain) (85)

8.            Michael Leitch (27)

9.            Tawera Kerr-Barlow (73)

10.         Aaron Cruden (co-captain) (79)

11.         James Lowe (42)

12.         Anton Lienert-Brown (30)

13.         Sam McNicol (13)

14.         Toni Pulu (18)

15.         Damian McKenzie (39)     

RESERVES:

16.         Hika Elliot (110)

17.         Siegfried Fisi’ihoi (17)

18.         Sosefo Kautai (1)

19.         Dominic Bird (17)

20.         Liam Messam (151)

21.         Finlay Christie (3)

22.         Alex Nankivell (1)

23.         Shaun Stevenson (13)

 

() = Gallagher Chiefs caps in brackets

 

Unavailable for selection: Brad Weber, Mitchell Graham, Nathan Harris, James Tucker, Glen Fisiiahi, Chase Tiatia, Charlie Ngatai, Tim Nanai-Williams, Liam Polwart, Michael Allardice, Nepo Laulala and Johnny Faauli. 

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