April 11, 2024

Chiefs Manawa excited for the big dance

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The Chiefs Manawa have named a formidable side to take on the Blues at Eden Park this Saturday for the 2024 final.

The three-time Sky Super Rugby Aupiki finalists first faced the Blues at Eden Park for the inaugural match of the competition back in 2021. This kicked off the strong rivalry that has been showcased through the pool games this season.

Chiefs Manawa head coach Crystal Kaua: “We are excited for the big dance, we know we have a job to do, but we are enjoying the week, staying in each moment and relishing in the vibe of finals footy.

“Both our starters and our impact will have a huge role to play this weekend, this was by far the most challenging selection, our belief in our squad, in all of our players, is massive.

“It would be great to pack out Eden Park and get some Chiefs Manawa supporters in behind us.”

The Black Fern’s tight five will be immense at the breakdown with top try scorer Luka Connor returning to the 23. Kate Henwood and Tanya Kalounivale maintain continuity at prop, with Charmaine Smith and Chelsea Bremner adding height at lock.

At loose forward the in-form Mia Anderson is named on the blindside with captain Kennedy Simon at openside and the dynamic Chyna Hohepa at No.8.

Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu and Hazel Tubic will make for an experienced halfback and first-five combination. They will be supported in the midfield by Grace Steinmetz and Mererangi Paul.

Competition leader for clean breaks (15) Ruby Tui returns on the wing with rookie Reese Anderson and Renee Holmes completing the backline.

The match will kick off at 4.05pm on Saturday and be broadcast live on Sky Sport and for the first time ever on TikTok.

Chiefs Manawa team to face the Blues:
1. Kate Henwood
2. Luka Connor
3. Tanya Kalounivale
4. Charmaine Smith
5. Chelsea Bremner
6. Mia Anderson
7. Kennedy Simon (Captain)
8. Chyna Hohepa
9. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu
10. Hazel Tubic
11. Reese Anderson
12. Grace Steinmetz
13. Mererangi Paul
14. Ruby Tui
15. Renee Holmes

16. Vici-Rose Green
17. Krystal Murray
18. Bitila Tawake
19. Grace Kukutai
20. Victoria Edmonds
21. Ariana Bayler
22. Chelsea Semple
23. Azalleyah Maaka

Match details
Blues v Chiefs Manawa
Kick off: 4.05pm
Eden Park
Live on Sky Sport and TikTok

Chiefs Manawa excited for the big dance