March 07, 2019

Gallagher Chiefs named to challenge unbeaten BNZ Crusaders

The Gallagher Chiefs have been named ahead of Saturday’s match against the BNZ Crusaders in Christchurch.

Kicking off at the earlier time of 5.15pm at Christchurch Stadium, Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Colin Cooper has made a number of changes to the starting fifteen to face an in form and unbeaten Crusaders line up.

All Blacks Nathan Harris and Nepo Laulala will re-join to start in the front row alongside Aidan Ross. The return of Harris and Laulala means Samisoni Taukei’aho and Angus Ta’avao move to the reserves. A new locking combination of Captain Brodie Retallick and Tyler Ardron will take the field with Michael Allardice being ruled out after sustaining an injury in training. Lachlan Boshier gets the nod as the starting number seven ahead of Mitchell Karpik who has been named in the reserves.

In the backs second five-eighth Anton Lienert-Brown returns refreshed following his week off to combine in the midfield with centre Tumua Manu shifting Alex Nankivell to the bench. Fullback Solomon Alaimalo returns from injury to earn his first start of the season.

First five-eighth Jack Debreczeni will be hoping to impress if given the opportunity to debut off the bench.

Cooper states, “For us this week, we have gone back to basics and have focused on what we can control as a team.”

“We welcome the return of a couple of our team who have been out with injury or on leave. These guys are ready to go and eager to play and bring great energy into the team which we will need to combat an impressive Crusaders team,” said Cooper.

Gallagher Chiefs:
1. Aidan Ross (16)
2. Nathan Harris (46)
3. Nepo Laulala (19)
4. Brodie Retallick (101)
5. Tyler Ardron (12)
6. Mitchell Brown (24)
7. Lachlan Boshier (33)
8. Taleni Seu (37)
9. Brad Weber (59)
10. Damian McKenzie (67)
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo (3)
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (57)
13. Tumua Manu (2)
14. Sean Wainui (16)
15. Solomon Alaimalo (26)

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (12)
17. Tevita Mafileo (3)
18. Angus Ta’avao (19)
19. Jesse Parete (11)
20. Mitchell Karpik (15)
21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (20)
22. Jack Debreczeni*
23. Alex Nankivell (10)

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

Game Day Information:
Fixture: BNZ Crusaders vs. Gallagher Chiefs, 5.15pm, Saturday 9 March
Location: Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch

Full Gallagher Chiefs Draw:

Gallagher Chiefs named to challenge unbeaten BNZ Crusaders