March 04, 2020

Gallagher Chiefs named to face NSW Waratahs in Wollongong

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The Gallagher Chiefs head to Wollongong to take on the NSW Waratahs on Friday 6 March at 7.15pm (AUST)/9.15pm (NZT) in round six of their 2020 Investec Super Rugby campaign. Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Warren Gatland has made several changes to his starting fifteen to challenge the NSW Waratahs.

Bay of Plenty prop Ross Geldenhuys will run out for his first start in the Gallagher Chiefs jersey, replacing Atu Moli who has been ruled out due to illness. Geldenhuys will be joined by weekly start Aidan Ross and hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho who moves from the bench into the starting jersey. The locking duo of Michael Allardice and Tyler Ardron will complete a strong tight five. Lachlan Boshier returns from his break to start in the number six jersey in place of Luke Jacobson. Gallagher Chiefs captain Sam Cane remains at seven alongside the powerful Pita Gus Sowakula at number eight.

An experienced halves pairing of Brad Weber and Aaron Cruden will respectively start at nine and ten. In a competitive tussle for midfield starting spots, All Black midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown will move to second five-eighth, making way for Tumua Manu who will return from injury to start at centre. The back three will see Sean Wainui return to the left wing, Shaun Stevenson start on the right wing and Solomon Alaimalo complete a dynamic backline.

In the reserves, Counties Manukau hooker Donald Maka will be set to make his Investec Super Rugby debut. Rookie Ryan Coxon moves into the twenty-three in jersey number seventeen. Alex Nankivell will be the only remaining change to the reserves slotting into jersey number twenty-three.

Gatland said the team want to deliver an improved performance.

“We were disappointed with our performance against the Brumbies in front of our fans. On Friday we want to get our campaign back on track. The boys are eager to get back out on the field and deliver an improved performance. We know that our starts need to be sharper, so that is a focus heading into this game.”

“It should be a competitive hit out on Friday, so it is great to have the likes of Tumua returning from injury. He is a powerful midfielder and we are excited to see him in action again. It will also be a special moment for Donald Maka. He has been training hard and we are pleased to reward him for this,” finished Gatland.

Gallagher Chiefs:
1. Aidan Ross (29)
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (26)
3. Ross Geldenhuys (3)
4. Michael Allardice (43)
5. Tyler Ardron (29)
6. Lachlan Boshier (47)
7. Sam Cane (114) ©
8. Pita Gus Sowakula (18)
9. Brad Weber (75)
10. Aaron Cruden (92)
11. Sean Wainui (29)
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (72)
13. Tumua Manu (16)
14. Shaun Stevenson (46)
15. Solomon Alaimalo (41)

16. Donald Maka**
17. Ryan Coxon (4)
18. Reuben O’Neill (2)
19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi (4)
20. Mitchell Karpik (23)
21. Lisati Milo-Harris (1)
22. Kaleb Trask (3)
23. Alex Nankivell (26)

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

Unavailable for selection:
Angus Ta’avao (quad), Atu Moli (illness), Laghlan McWhannell (knee), Luke Jacobson (Hamstring), Nathan Harris (shoulder), Nepo Laulala (knee), Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (knee)

Game Day Information:
Fixture: NSW Waratahs vs. Gallagher Chiefs, Friday 6 March, 7.15pm (AUST)/9.15pm (NZT)
Location: WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Gallagher Chiefs named to face NSW Waratahs in Wollongong