May 16, 2019

Cane to return and Ta’avao to start in 100th Investec Super Rugby match

The Gallagher Chiefs will head north to Auckland to take on the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday at 7.35pm.

Head coach Colin Cooper and the team will welcome the return of co-captain Sam Cane. Named on the bench in jersey number 20, Cane will take the field for the first time this Investec Super Rugby season. Brad Weber will continue to captain the side from halfback.

Angus Ta’avao will start at tighthead in his 100th Investec Super Rugby match, shifting Nepo Laulala to the bench. A new locking combination of Jesse Parete and Mitchell Brown will take the field, with Tyler Ardron back to number eight. Pita Gus Sowakula will start at six in place of Luke Jacobson who sustained a head knock at training.

Again Cooper has named an unchanged backline from the side that took the field against the Sharks in Hamilton.

Joining Cane on the reserves bench, loosehead prop Aidan Ross returns from his neck injury and Waikato loose forward Mitchell Jacobson will be hoping to make his Investec Super Rugby debut for the Gallagher Chiefs in jersey number 19.

Head coach Colin Cooper said: “It is always a great rivalry between us and the Blues. We expect another brutal encounter again this weekend. They have some great attacking ability among their team. We will need to continue to build on our performance against the Sharks.”

Gallagher Chiefs:
1. Atu Moli (33)
2. Nathan Harris(54)
3. Angus Ta’avao (28)
4. Jesse Parete (19)
5. Mitchell Brown (32)
6. Pita Gus Sowakula (10)
7. Mitchell Karpik (18)
8. Tyler Ardron (21)
9. Brad Weber (67) (c)
10. Marty McKenzie (26)
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo (9)
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (65)
13. Tumua Manu (11)
14. Sean Wainui (23)
15. Solomon Alaimalo (33)

16. Liam Polwart (25)
17. Aidan Ross (20)
18. Nepo Laulala (27)
19. Mitchell Jacobson**
20. Sam Cane (106)
21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (27)
22. Shaun Stevenson (39)
23. Alex Nankivell (18)

() = Gallagher Chiefs caps in brackets
*denotes Gallagher Chiefs debut
**denotes Investec Super Rugby debut

Unavailable for selection:
Brodie Retallick, Damian McKenzie, Fin Hoeata, Jack Debreczeni, Kane Hames, Lachlan Boshier, Laghlan McWhannell, Luke Jacobson, Michael Allardice, Reuben O’Neill, Sam McNicol, Taleni Seu and Tiaan Falcon.

Game day information:
Fixture: Gallagher Chiefs vs. Blues, Saturday 18 May, 7.35pm
Location: Eden Park, Auckland

Cane to return and Ta’avao to start in 100th Investec Super Rugby match