May 30, 2019

Gallagher Chiefs set for Crusaders challenge in Fiji

The Gallagher Chiefs will take on the Crusaders in front of a passionate Fijian crowd at ANZ Stadium in Suva on Saturday at 7.35pm.

Head coach Colin Cooper has made only one change to a versatile forward pack this weekend. Hooker Nathan Harris earns a week off on All Blacks. Samisoni Taukei’aho will start at hooker with Bradley Slater joining the bench as cover in jersey number 16.

In the back line, halfback Brad Weber will start in his 70th appearance for the Gallagher Chiefs. First five-eighth Jack Debreczeni will start at ten moving Marty McKenzie to the bench in jersey number 22. Anton Lienert-Brown returns from All Blacks leave to start at second five- eighth combining with Alex Nankivell at centre, with Tumua Manu as cover on the bench in jersey number 23. In the final change to the back line, Sean Wainui will start on the left wing in absence of Etene Nanai-Seturo who is with the New Zealand Under 20’s.

On the reserves bench, tighthead prop Angus Ta’avao returns to the fold named in jersey 18. Following a successful debut, Daymon Leasuasu retains his spot in the 23 and is joined by loose forward Mitchell Jacobson. Once again, loosehead prop Aidan Ross and halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi retain their positions in the reserves.

Cooper said the Gallagher Chiefs were excited for the challenge and to return to Fiji.

“The Crusaders are a quality side and will be another tough challenge for us. We have everything to play for, we will need to make the most of any opportunities presented to us and when we are not attacking, we need to be disciplined and accurate with our defensive structures.”

“We will have plenty of passionate fans behind us here in Fiji, it is certainly a home away from home for us. Once we stepped off the plane, we knew we were in Chiefs country.”

Gallagher Chiefs:
1. Atu Moli (35)
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (23)
3. Nepo Laulala (29)
4. Jesse Parete (21)
5. Tyler Ardron (23)
6. Lachlan Boshier (41)
7. Sam Cane (108) (c)
8. Pita Gus Sowakula (12)
9. Brad Weber (69)
10. Jack Debreczeni (3)
11. Sean Wainui (23)
12. Anton Lienert-Brown (66)
13. Alex Nankivell (20)
14. Shaun Stevenson (41)
15. Solomon Alaimalo (35)

16. Bradley Slater (2)
17. Aidan Ross (22)
18. Angus Ta’avao (29)
19. Daymon Leasuasu (1)
20. Mitchell Jacobson (1)
21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (29)
22. Marty McKenzie (28)
23. Tumua Manu (13)

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

Unavailable for selection:
Bailyn Sullivan, Brodie Retallick, Damian McKenzie, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Fin Hoeata, Kane Hames, Laghlan McWhannell, Liam Polwart, Luke Jacobson, Michael Allardice, Mitchell Brown, Mitchell Karpik, Nathan Harris, Reuben O’Neill, Sam McNicol, Taleni Seu and Tiaan Falcon.

Game Day Information:
Fixture: Gallagher Chiefs vs. Crusaders, Saturday 1 June, 7.35pm
Location: ANZ Stadium, Suva, Fiji
Gates Open: 4.00pm

Gallagher Chiefs set for Crusaders challenge in Fiji