February 20, 2020

Gallagher Chiefs ready for Brumbies battle in front of home crowd

Grab your 2020 5 Game Membership

The Gallagher Chiefs return home to FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday 22 February following their 43-17 win over the Sunwolves. Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Warren Gatland has made a raft of changes to his side named to face the Brumbies in Hamilton. The match is sponsored by Summit Homes and will commence at the earlier kick off time of 7.05pm.

An unchanged front row will be joined by a new locking duo of Michael Allardice and Mitchell Brown. Fans will welcome the return of All Black flanker Luke Jacobson at six, Gallagher Chiefs captain Sam Cane at seven and the powerful Pita Gus Sowakula returning to start at number eight to complete an experienced forward pack.

Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi will pair with Aaron Cruden in the halves, shifting Cruden’s understudy Kaleb Trask to the bench. Alex Nankivell will remain at second five eighth combining with All Black midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown returning in the number thirteen jersey, shifting Quinn Tupaea to the bench in jersey 23. The back three will feature the welcomed return of speedster Sam McNicol on the left wing and in form winger Sean Wainui on the right, with dynamic All Black fullback Damian McKenzie completing an elusive back three.

In the reserves, experienced front row cover in hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho, props Reuben O’Neill and Ross Geldenhuys will be joined by lock Naitoa Ah Kuoi and flanker Mitchell Karpik. Taranaki halfback Lisati Milo-Harris will look to come off the bench for his Investec Super Rugby debut.

Gatland said he was pleased to return home for another entertaining battle.

“It was great to collect another win on the road and allow several of our players to run out in the Gallagher Chiefs jersey for the first time this season. This week again we have a privilege to rotate a couple of players and provide the opportunity for several others to return for the Gallagher Chiefs. It will be great to have the likes of Luke Jacobson and Sam McNicol take the field for the first time this season. They are both talented individuals and have been training hard, so will be excited for the run.”

“We have another tough battle ahead of us on Saturday. The Brumbies are leading the Australian Conference and will be on the hunt for redemption following a close loss to the Highlanders last weekend. We know it will be an exciting and entertaining game for our fans to watch and it’s one the team are looking forward to,” said Gatland.

Gallagher Chiefs:
1. Aidan Ross (28)
2. Bradley Slater (3)
3. Atu Moli (41)
4. Michael Allardice (43)
5. Mitchell Brown (36)
6. Luke Jacobson (21)
7. Sam Cane (113) ©
8. Pita Gus Sowakula (17)
9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (35)
10. Aaron Cruden (91)
11. Sam McNicol (18)
12. Alex Nankivell (25)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (71)
14. Sean Wainui (28)
15. Damian McKenzie (74)

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (25)
17. Reuben O’Neill (1)
18. Ross Geldenhuys (2)
19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi (3)
20. Mitchell Karpik (22)
21. Lisati Milo-Harris**
22. Kaleb Trask (2)
23. Quinn Tupaea (3)

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

Unavailable for selection:
Angus Ta’avao (knee), Laghlan McWhannell (knee), Nathan Harris (shoulder), Nepo Laulala (knee) and Tumua Manu (shoulder).

2020 Gallagher Chiefs home match tickets are on sale here: https://www.chiefs.co.nz/game-tickets
2020 Gallagher Chiefs 6 game memberships are on sale here: https://www.chiefs.co.nz/2020-memberships

Game Day Information:
Fixture: Gallagher Chiefs vs. Brumbies, Saturday 22 February, 7.05pm (NZT)
Location: FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
Gates Open: 4.15pm (NZT)
Curtain Raisers: Centurions Cup Final: Waikato XV vs. Bay of Plenty XV (FMG Stadium Waikato), Saturday 22 February, 4.25pm (NZT)
Centurions Cup: Counties Manukau XV vs. Taranaki XV (Fred Jones Park), Saturday 22 February, 3.00pm (NZT)

Gallagher Chiefs ready for Brumbies battle in front of home crowd