March 21, 2019

Gallagher Chiefs set for Bulls challenge

Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Colin Cooper has selected a strong twenty three to face the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on Sunday 2.05am (NZ time).

Following a 23 all draw against the Hurricanes in Hamilton last Friday a selection of changes have been made across the twenty three. Four forwards remain in the starting line-up, loosehead prop Aidan Ross, hooker Nathan Harris, Captain Brodie Retallick and number eight Tyler Ardron. Tighthead prop Angus Ta’avao will start ahead of Nepo Laulala who will don jersey number 18. A new locking combination of Retallick and Mitchell Brown will start with Michael Allardice providing cover on the bench. Blindside flanker Luke Jacobson earns his first start of the season and is joined by Lachlan Boshier on the openside who returns to the starting fifteen after missing the Hurricanes match with concussion.

In the backline only two changes have been made. First five-eighth Jack Debreczeni earns his first start of the season after returning to full health he will direct the backline from ten. Solomon Alaimalo returns from injury and is named on the left wing shifting Ataata Moeakiola to the bench.

Completing the changes to the twenty three, loosehead prop Tevita Mafileo returns following a minor injury named in jersey number 17 and loose forward Jesse Parete earns his spot on the bench to don jersey number 20.

Head Coach Colin Cooper said he is pleased with the team they have selected but is calling for his side to show an improved performance.

“Last week was frustrating for us and as a team we want to see ourselves capitalise on the opportunities presented to us. The Bulls are a very good team and are coming off the back of a bye. For us to be successful we need to try to be more accurate and continue to focus on delivering our game in order to improve on last week’s performance.”

Gallagher Chiefs:
1. Aidan Ross (18)
2. Nathan Harris (48)
3. Angus Ta’avao (21)
4. Brodie Retallick (103) ©
5. Mitchell Brown (26)
6. Luke Jacobson (14)
7. Lachlan Boshier (34)
8. Tyler Ardron (14)
9. Brad Weber (61)
10. Jack Debreczeni (1)
11. Solomon Alaimalo (27)
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (59)
13. Tumua Manu (4)
14. Sean Wainui (17)
15. Damian McKenzie (69)

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (15)
17. Tevita Mafileo (4)
18. Nepo Laulala (21)
19. Michael Allardice (38)
20. Jesse Parete (12)
21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (22)
22. Alex Nankivell (12)
23. Ataata Moeakiola (4)

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

Fixture: Bulls vs. Gallagher Chiefs, Saturday 23 March 3.05pm (SAT), 2.05am (NZT, Sunday 25 March)
Location: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria

Gallagher Chiefs set for Bulls challenge